How China is fast narrowing the technology gap with the West
“The size of China’s R&D manpower force looks even more formidable. Its total R&D personnel last year numbered almost four million, against 2.4 million for the whole of the European Union and 0.9 million for Japan. China also has a huge reserve army of graduates, thanks to 2,900 universities and colleges as of last year, with a total enrolment of 37 million, against the 21 million of the US. One in five of the world’s university students is in China and, in line with other East Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, China has a relatively high proportion (about 40 per cent) of its university students taking up science and technology subjects.
It is not just in quantity that China has made progress; its efforts to improve the quality of its S&T sector has also borne fruit. In 2014, the Nature Index/Global, which tracks high-quality scientific publications, ranked China second in the world in terms of number of scientific papers published, behind the US. Another indicator is the performance of Peking and Tsinghua universities, which were listed in the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Ranking as among the world’s 50 best universities.”