China by the numbers Research capacity has grown rapidly, and now quality is on the rise.
China’s blazing economic growth has cooled in recent years, but the nation’s scientific ambitions show no signs of fading. In 2000, China spent about as much on research and development (R&D) as France; now it invests more in this area than the European Union does, when adjusted for the purchasing power of its currency. That surge in funding has paid off. China now produces more research articles than any other nation, apart from the United States, and its authors feature on around one-fifth of the world’s most-cited papers. Top Chinese scientific institutions are breaking into lists of the world’s best, and the nation has created some unparalleled facilities.
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