In terms of fields, among the eight fields, China ranks first in five fields, including materials science, chemistry and engineering. In the competition of academic research, China has begun to keep pace with the United States, and the reversal of industrial competitiveness has gradually become a reality.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that the number of scientific papers is a basic indicator to measure the activity of a country’s research and development. The Institute of Science, Technology and Academic Policy of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan calculated and analyzed the average number of papers for three years in major countries based on data from the British research company Clarivate. China is clearly improving its strength not only in the quantity but also in the quality of academic research.
The survey of the number of papers of interest found that China in 2018 (average from 2017 to 2019) was 40,219, surpassing the 37,124 in the United States, ranking first. While the US also increased by 3% from 2008, China surged to about 5.1 times. In terms of share, China is 24.8%, and the United States is 22.9%, far ahead of the United Kingdom (5.4%), which ranks third.
Even among the “top papers” in the top 1% of papers of interest, China’s share reached 25%, approaching the US’s 27.2%. The head of the Institute of Science, Technology and Academic Policy of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan pointed out that “China’s current momentum shows a trend of surpassing that of the United States.”
Looking at the global share of papers of interest by field, in the field of materials science, China is 48.4%, significantly surpassing the United States (14.6%). With 39.1% in chemistry (14.3% in the US) and 37.3% in engineering (10.9% in the US), China ranks first in a total of 5 fields.
The United States ranks first in clinical medicine (34.5%) and basic life sciences (26.9%). It has obvious advantages in the biological field, but in the field related to industrial competitiveness, China shows its strength.
In terms of the overall number of papers, China still ranks first after last year’s statistics, surpassing the United States. China had 353,174 articles, compared with 285,717 articles in the United States, a gap that widened to around 70,000 articles from around 20,000 articles in the 2020 survey.
On the other hand, Japan’s ranking has declined in both the quality and quantity of papers, and the weak foundation of scientific and technological strength has surfaced. It was surpassed by India in the share of papers of interest, dropping to 10th place from 9th place in the previous year, and the ranking dropped to 2 digits for the first time. The share of top papers ranked ninth, the same as the previous year.
The number of Chinese researchers is the largest in the world, and the investment has doubled in ten years
China is taking the title of “the world’s No. 1 scientific power” from the United States. According to a report released on August 10 by the Research Institute of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, China has jumped to the top for the first time in terms of the number of papers that have received a lot of attention. The U.S., which had previously led post-World War II scientific research, is losing its edge, potentially affecting industrial competitiveness.
China landed an unmanned probe on the far side of the moon for the first time in the world in 2019. “China’s technological strength has reached a level that is not inferior to that of the United States,” said Yuryo Yamashiki, director of the Manned Cosmology Research Center at Kyoto University in Japan.
The United States has been leading the world in science and technology since the 1950s. This is the source of industrial competitiveness and the foundation that underpins military superiority, but China is shaking that foundation.