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WSJ: China's Spending For Research Outpaces the U.S.

An unprecedented surge in research and development spending is helping China catch up with the two longstanding leaders in the field, the U.S. and Japan, a new study found.

R&D spending in China has been growing at an annual rate of about 17%, and is far higher than the 4% to 5% annual growth rates reported for the U.S., Japan and the European Union over the past dozen years. China's massive investments in education are also bearing fruit. In 2002, its industrial-research work force was 42% the size of the equivalent U.S. work force, up from 16% in 1991.

China is increasingly making its mark with scientific discoveries and patents held by its scientists. In 2003 China became only the third country, after the U.S. and Russia, to put a person into orbit on its own.

Yesterday, Michael Griffin, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, returned to the U.S. after a visit to China -- the first time a NASA administrator has visited that country -- to explore and expand space-program cooperation.

"China's significant investment in R&D is predicated on the assumption that they want to be a player and competitor both economically and militarily," said Jules Duga, senior analyst at Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit trust in Columbus, Ohio, that runs labs for the government and industry.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:03:52 AM EST
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