Within the modernization process in the People's Republic of China initiated with Deng Xiaoping's come-back to power in late 1978, the role of technical co-operation with the advanced countries has been stressed from the beginning. Imports of ultra-modern factory complexes and computerized equipment should push China towards the year 2000, by which China would line up with the industrial leaders of the second half of this century like Japan, the United States, and some of the Westem European countries. The role of manpower in this process has been underestimated for quite along time, and only recently have universities and colleges opened their doors to higher numbers of students than ever before in the country's history. On the secondary school level, general education still applies to the majority of students, whereas technical and vocational education are just about to start off from a rather marginal position. But in order to mobilize the whole machinery of technical innovation, efforts will have to be concentrated on pre-service as well as in-service education and training in a wide range of technical and vocational fields.