China overtakes the US in research
This statement is something that the Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTP) has declared in a report issued last August. And this is because China has published more technical reports (generally called “papers”) than anyone between the years 2018 to 2020, followed by the USA and Germany.
This is the first time it has happened, and I think it is a very significant fact to highlight. And the subliminal message behind it is: China is determined to be at the forefront of future technological development. Which is achieved with many people working and with a lot of money supporting those jobs.
Research is a very long-term task and is dominated by powerful countries, with highly developed technologies, and with a society that values technological developments.
For this reason, in some poor countries (such as Spain) we see many of our researchers “emigrate” to other places (such as the USA or Germany), where they get better opportunities for the future.
Today technology is the lever that moves the world, and its influence is going to be greater every time. The countries that have their own technologies will be richer, and the others will not. And it seems that the Chinese have it very clear.
A few decades ago, when they were more backward than Western countries, the Chinese dedicated themselves to copying and manufacturing cheap products for the West, gradually acquiring knowledge and technology.
They have spent a lot of money in having their own industries dominating their market (which is huge), without letting any foreign company dominate “their internal market”, and at the same time selling abroad the maximum number of products to earn dollars and make their companies grow.
Now China is a world power that also wants its share of the technological pie, since they are clear that the future lies there. And they do it by publishing many “papers”, that these are of good quality, so that other researchers can refer to them.
But since the Americans do not want to stop being in the lead, they have just approved a law (CHIPS and Science Act) to invest 280 billion dollars in manufacturing technologies and scientific research, to recover part of the lost ground and bring their country ( USA) chip manufacturing capabilities and new technologies.
Dear friends, technology is one of the levers that move the world. And that the Chinese and the North Americans have very clear.