Interesting ideas. I particularly thought this was a curious observation:
We have ideological biases that say, “Well, this could be troubling, we shouldn’t be meddling with nature, we shouldn’t be meddling with God.” I just attended a debate in New York a few weeks ago about whether or not we should outlaw genetic engineering in babies and the audience was pretty split. In China, 95 percent of an audience would say, “Obviously you should make babies genetically healthier, happier, and brighter!” There’s a big cultural difference.
I wonder why this is? Could there be a theme of self-perfection in their culture that we don't have? Perhaps there's the western desire for almost chaotic individuality which causes us to fear what would happen if we all had "the smart gene." I think saying 'religion!' and calling it at that is over-simplifying it a lot. Some people probably do believe we shouldn't mess with their deity of choice's plan, but I'd bet that there's a lot more to it than that.
That said, I think China's idea isn't bad and I see the value in genetic engineering, but diving in with "Intelligence" as your first test case seems like it's jumping the gun. As the article says, "intelligence" is a really difficult thing to pin down genetically, and there are so many variable factors. We can't even decide on what intelligence is, and there are so many different ways one could be an intelligent person. Seriously, if we want to start trying out genetic engineering on humans any time soon, we should work on things with clear genetic indicators which are not highly dependent on environment - basic physical features, ability to digest milk, height, and perhaps most importantly, genetically-transmitted diseases. Not that I don't believe we could make intelligence work as a goal for genetic engineering, but with our current abilities, we'd risk doing more harm than good.