Ten Major Technological Achievements of China: Map to the Future
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, despite grave difficulties both at home and abroad, China has risen to the challenge and worked hard to press ahead, driving forward sustained, healthy economic and social dev
Renowned British scientist, historian and sinologist Dr. Joseph Needham (1900-1995) was known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science and especially “Needham’s Grand Question.” Specifically, he asked why the meteoric rise of modern science happened only in the West despite Chinese society being more advanced in many ways in ancient times. The question is now moot, however, because if trends continue as they are, today’s meteoric rise in science will soon be led by China.
After the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012, the Outlineofthenationalstrategyofinnovation-drivendevelopment specified that innovation in scientific research would be the core of China’s comprehensive development strategy. Since then, the country’s achievements in scientific and technological innovation have drawn global attention, and China is back at the cutting edge of international science.
The speed of China’s scientific and technological progress has only increased in recent decades. Now, its output speed in scientific and technological achievements even exceeds the country’s economic growth rate. China’s annual scientific and technological output ranks second in the world, and the country is quickly closing in on the United States. China’s scientific and technological institutes lead the world in terms of the rapid growth in high- quality scientific output. Of the 100 global institutes with the biggest recent increases in scientific and technological output, 40 are in China.
Rapid scientific and technological development is the result of the long-term investment from the Chinese government. Across the past three decades, funding of China’s National Natural Science Foundation has increased by 300 times. According to the latest statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, China’s research and development spending surpassed Ja-
pan in 2009 and Europeope in 2013 and is expectedted to overtake the United ed States by 2020. This massive input has enabled ed China to reap a handfuldful of top global achievements,ents, and localization is rising. . Jiaolong, China’s domestically y designed and developed manned submersible, has created a world record in terms of deep-sea diving. China Railway High-speed 2 (CRH2)2) trains reach the world’s top operating speed at 486.1 kilometers per hour. The successful debut of China’s C919 jumbo jets made the country one of the few in the world being able to develop large passenger aircraft. China’s quantum computer, which was unveiled this May, is the first machine based on single photons to dwarf the classical computer. The Five- hundred- meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), known as the “Eye of Heaven” in China, is the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. It is expected to maintain its world- class position for the next 10 to 20 years.
Scientific and technological innovation has never been as close to Chinese society as it is today.