The Chinese government has an ambitious plan to make China a world leader in science and technology by 2050. Moreover, in just 15 years from now, China's leaders wish to see the country transformed into an innovation-oriented society. Chinese companies are to become less reliant on foreign technology. Chinese scientists are to pursue 'indigenous innovation.' However, researchers in China face numerous hurdles, including bureaucratic control, corruption, and an education system based on rote learning. How realistic are the government's goals? Innovation with Chinese Characteristics addresses this question. Focusing on four specific areas - IT, nanotechnology, energy, and biotechnology - the authors also describe the areas of strength and weakness in high-tech research conducted by Chinese scientists. IT, nanotechnology, and biotechnology are fields in which Chinese researchers are expected to excel. Energy-related technology is important because of the vast amount of energy - mostly from coal - that China needs to fuel its economic growth. Innovative research that would bring down the costs of clean coal technology would have significant consequences for the environment, not only in China but worldwide.