The Chinese economy in recent years has undergone a significant advancement in the field of science and technology. China’s government’s 13th five-year plan revolves around science-based innovation projects research, gene science, big data and medical robotics. Not to mention Chinese President Xi Jinping is deeply committed in for making serious investment in this long-term mission. This is line with Xi’s Made in China 2025 initiative. According to a report in McKinsey Quarterly, China funding for research and development has grown from just over $3 billion to over $400 billion annually, a level of investment that is second only to the United States.
The same is reflected by progress in the scientific and educational ecosystem. The number of citations of Chinese scientists has increased rapidly. As compared to last year around 17000 more papers, leaving US behind, are published in reputed journals. There have been five winners of the Nobel Prize (four in physics, one in physiology or medicine). Chinese science institutions gleaming with brand-new facilities, state-of-the-art technology are focusing on important shared endeavors and huge government incentives. The best of Chinese scientists are finding their way home. Chinese government has successfully lured as many as 4000 scientists with its Thousand Talent Plan, in which scientists aged under 55 (whether Chinese citizens or not) are given full-time positions at prestigious universities and institutes, with larger than normal salaries and resources. Educational institutes are booming too, producing about 2.5 million graduate students and nearly 30,000 PhDs annually.
Devoted to research
The recent achievements of Chinese scientists in cloning, embryology and virology speak volumes of the hard work they are putting in their endevors. While cloning of sheep’s, dogs, pigs has not been seen as an issue, complexity of human type primates such ‘macaque monkeys’ makes their cloning a significant achievement. Nonetheless, the work makes human reproductive cloning look more feasible in principle. Also a lot many advancements have been made in treating numerous viral epidemics that hit the country in recent times such as SARS, bird flu, Ebola, Zika and MERS. Incontestably China is providing a superior climate in order to encourage businesses. China is also making groundbreaking advancements in field of quantum internet. Inspite of the installation of a fibre-optic network stretching from Shanghai to Beijing, China is leading in quantum telecommunication as well. Last year a team in Hefei demonstrated the first “teleportation” of quantum objects (photons or “particles” of light) from the ground-based observatory at Ngari in Tibet to Micius, up to 1,400km away. Though teleportation of any form of matter, say humans as in science fiction movies, may take a little longer this is still a remarkable achievement. Not just land, China is striving to conquer outer space as well. China is already regarded as a serious contender to the US, Europe and Russia for predominance in space. The Chinese space agency plans to launch a lunar space mission featuring a satellite that will guide a rocket in 2019 to the far (“dark”) side of the moon, bearing a robotic lander vehicle. At the same time it is launching two prototype unmanned space stations under its Tiangong space station programme.
World’s second largest pharmaceutical market
With 80% of Chinese population affected by chronic illnesses and a growing population of 190 million falling in age group above 65 by 2050, the pharmaceutical industry is already seen as a big market. According to the McKinsey Quarterly report, considering its innovation expenditure, the pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $1 trillion in valuation by 2020. These trends clearly indicate that China has a real opportunity to become a major force in global pharmaceuticals research and that there will soon come a time when breakthrough innovation occurs in China on a very regular basis. Since China is welcoming all three types of investment: public, private and non-profit, it is not long before entrepreneurs start investing their fortunes research initiatives. It is highly possible that in the coming decades China will become a powerhouse in research innovation and start driving technological progress which contributes to human knowledge and progress.