Chinese S&T showed no huge presence until very recently, and it did not attract much attention from other countries around the world including Japan. China, however, accelerated its economic development starting in the 1990s and maintained rapid growth into the 21st century thanks to its policy of reform and door-opening. In 2010, the Chinese GDP overtook that of Japan and ranked as the second largest economy in the world following the U.S. In keeping with the progress of economic development, China’s S&T has been changing greatly.
A survey was conducted by the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy in Japan based on data of Thomson Reuters, and the world’s share of research article publication output is indicated as shown in Table 1 below. The U.S. still has an almost 30% share of the world’s research output and ranks first. China has increased its share rapidly to move up in the ranking. Most recently, China ranks second, leaving behind major European developed countries such as the U.K., Germany and France. If China continues to increase the number of researchers and research funds at the current high speed, the country can press hard on the world’s top-ranked U.S. Japan increased its share around 2000, but since then has had a declining trend.