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Carly Fiorina: The Chinese "Can't Innovate, Not Terribly Imaginative, Not Entrepreneurial"

"I have been doing business in China for decades, and I will tell you that yeah, the Chinese can take a test, but what they can't do is innovate."

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Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina argues that the Chinese are are not entrepreneurial, don't innovate, and are "not terribly imaginative" in her argument against the Common Core education policy.

"I also think the argument for Common Core is frequently, 'Oh, we have to compete with the Chinese,'" Fiorina said earlier in the year to the Iowa Caffeinated Thoughts political vlogger.

Fiorina cited her decades of business experience in China to say that the Chinese people are good at test taking but are not imaginative, entrepreneurial, or innovative.

"I have been doing business in China for decades, and I will tell you that yeah, the Chinese can take a test, but what they can't do is innovate," she said. "They are not terribly imaginative. They're not entrepreneurial, they don't innovate, that is why they are stealing our intellectual property."

She added teaching innovation, risk-taking, and imagination "are things that are distinctly American and we can't lose them."

The line of argument against Common Core is one Fiorina also advances in her book Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey. In it, Fiorina argues the Chinese educational system is "too homogenized and controlled" to encourage risk taking and imagination.

From her book:

Proponents of Common Core argue that we must compete with the Chinese in subjects like math and science. I agree that we must compete, but we will not win by becoming more centralized and standardized in our education methods. Although the Chinese are a gifted people, innovation and entrepreneurship are not their strong suits. Their society, as well as their educational system, is too homogenized and controlled to encourage imagination and risk taking. Americans excel at such things , and we must continue to encourage them. A centralized bureaucracy in Washington shouldn't be telling teachers how to teach or students how to learn. Our states have been described as "laboratories of democracy." They are also laboratories of innovation.

Fiorina frequently cites her business experience aboard as part of her foreign policy credentials. An often-repeated quip in her stump speech is that she has "met with more world leaders today than anyone else running for president, with the exception of Hillary Clinton."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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