Interesting take on why China may well dominate technology in the near future at BusinessWeek:
In China, eight of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, including the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, have engineering degrees; one has a degree in geology.
Contrast that with the US:
Of the 15 U.S. cabinet members, six have law degrees. Only one cabinet member has a hard-science degree — Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997, has a doctorate in physics. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have law degrees.
Basically it comes down to political will and understanding on the part of the people with the power.
(Via the ever excellent InsideHPC)