Yes, according to FT's Alan Beattie. He writes in today's FT:
Being a developing country used to be easy. You followed leaders - Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea - up a well-trodden ladder from agriculture through manufacturing to services. Starting with tilling the soil, you moved on to turning out T-shirts, then toys, then tractors, then television sets, and ended up trading Treasuries.
The rise of China has made that less straightforward. Not only is the first rung harder to reach, thanks to the hundreds of millions of rural migrants to Chinese cities still willing to work for low wages stitching garments, but also exports of goods from China's coastal industrial fringe are rapidly becoming more sophisticated, threatening those halfway or more up the ladder. While the shoemakers of Italy and the steelmakers of Pennsylvania may complain loudly about Chinese competition, those with more to worry about are middle-income Asian countries geographically and economically close to the Middle Kingdom.
So what is a poor developing nation to do? There are two schools on thought on this, as Beattie notes. One thinks that government cannot possibly do much and they better get out of the way, after taking care of the usual list of fundamentals of course:
For countries such as the Philippines, without a big arsenal for public investment, policy recommendations from most business people for competing with China involve no magic elixir. Governments should improve logistics, infrastructure, the business climate and education; try, possibly, to spot specialities emerging and support them, but otherwise get out of the way. They warn against governments crashing into the market having decided what the economy is likely to be good at and then promoting it at all costs.
The other school (which includes me) thinks that by following this route you not only remain in a rut, but you also miss out on the most important lesson from China's success: the need for the government to be strategic (and yes also flexible) in supporting industries. Yo do need an industrial policy--but of this kind, not of the traditional type.