This paper defines the concept of national innovative development and national innovation capacity, and develops the national innovative development index and the national innovation capacity index with a view to monitor the progress in China’s innovation development. The international comparison of national innovative development index indicates that China is still far behind of developed countries, especially the level of industrialisation and the level of science and technology and innovation although China’s national innovative development index has increased very fast during past years. The main sources for the growth of China’s national innovative development index from 2000 to 2006 came from the progress in urbanisation, informatisation, education and health, and science and technology and innovation. The study also shows that China’s national innovation capacity has increased very fast recently and ranked the 17th place in 38 countries in 2007, though the effectiveness index of national innovation only ranked the 37th place. The results imply that China’s growth of national innovation capacity index primarily come from its expansion of its economy and R&D inputs, though the system efficiency is still far behind many other countries.
Keywords: China, innovative development, innovation capacity-building