The Emergence of China as a Leading Nation in Science -- preprint version

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Tue Mar 15 15:08:11 EST 2005

 <> The Emergence of China as a
Leading Nation in Science


Ping Zhoua  <outbind://2/#_ftn1> *& Loet Leydesdorff b


aInformation Research and Analysis Center. Institute of Scientific and
Technical Information of China. 15 Fuxing Road. Beijing 100038. P. R. China;
<mailto:zhoup at> zhoup at


bAmsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR). University of

Kloveniersburgwal 48. 1012 CX  Amsterdam. The Netherlands.


Within only five years, China has become the fifth leading nation in terms
of its share of the world’s scientific publications. The citation rate of
papers with a Chinese address for the corresponding author also exhibits
exponential growth. More specifically, China has become a major player in
critical technologies like nanotechnology. Although it is difficult to
delineate nanoscience and nanotechnology, we show that China has recently
achieved a position second only to that of the USA. Funding for R&D has been
growing exponentially, but since 1997 even more in terms of business
expenditure than in terms of government expenditure. It seems that the
Chinese government has effectively used the public-sector research potential
to boost the knowledge-based economy of the country. Thus, China may be
achieving the (“Lisbon”) objectives of the transition to a knowledge-based
economy more broadly and rapidly than its western counterparts. Because of
the sustained increase in Chinese government funding and the virtually
unlimited reservoir of highly-skilled human resources, one may expect a
continuation of this exponential growth pattern in the near future. 


 <> <click here for


Loet Leydesdorff
Honory Chair of the City of Lausanne (March - July)
Université de Lausanne, School of Economics (HEC),
BFSH 1, 1015 Lausanne-Dorigny, Switzerland
loet at ; 

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