Is Chinese science as strong as it is painted?

(ORDO NEWS) — Recently, American researcher Caroline Wagner, who works in the Department of International Relations at Ohio State University, published an article in which she analyzed the originality and quality of scholarly articles from China.

Since the early 2000s, China has sent about 5.2 million students and scientists to study abroad. Many of them, it is true, stayed where they studied, but a growing number of former students have returned to China in recent years to work in high-tech labs and local universities.

Therefore, it is not surprising that such a policy has paid off: since 2017, China has been leading in terms of the number of publications in scientific academic publications. Of course, quantity does not necessarily mean quality.

However, China has been investing heavily in science for many years (Chinese universities currently produce the largest number of engineering PhDs in the world, and the quality of Chinese universities has improved dramatically in recent years), so Caroline Wagner decided to assess China’s scientific strength by monitoring Chinese citations. works in scientific articles of researchers from other countries.

The researcher writes: “My colleagues and I have calculated how many articles published in a given country are in the top 1% of scientific articles in terms of the number of citations in various disciplines.

Moving from year to year from 2015 to 2019, we then compared different countries. We were surprised to find that in 2019, Chinese authors published the largest percentage of the most influential papers, with China claiming 8,422 papers in the top category, while the US claimed 7,959, and scholars from the European Union claimed 6,074.

In just one recent example, we found that in 2022, Chinese researchers published three times as many articles on artificial intelligence (AI) as US researchers; In the top 1% of most cited AI studies, Chinese newspapers outnumbered American newspapers by 2 to 1.

Caroline Wagner comes to the conclusion that China has become one of the leading scientific and technological powers and the fears of the American authorities in this regard are by no means groundless.

The motivation for most of the sanctions that the Biden administration is imposing against Chinese technology enterprises is becoming much clearer – American leaders are seriously afraid of the rapidly growing scientific power of the Celestial Empire (after all, it is directly related to military power).


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