Forward | China at the cutting edge of technology
(This article was written by Waseem Abbas Sial, a master's candidate in computer science, and was published in Dawn, the largest English newspaper in Pakistan.)
BEING a Pakistani student at a university in China, I have realised that the day is not far when Chinese universities would be counted among the best in the world in terms of research done in the fields of science and technology.
China has advanced more than any other country in the last decade. There were merely two or three Chinese academic institutions among the top 100 in the world 10 years ago. The recently released list has as many as 20 Chinese universities among the top 100 globally.
China has been making revolutionary advances in the field of research and development (R&D) for a number of years, and this force is what is driving the country’s fast-paced development. In reaching this significant milestone, China has surpassed the United States in terms of investment in R&D, accounting for 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and growing by almost 14pc annually.
The National Science Foundation reported in 2022 that the US accounted for 27pc of global R&D, with China at 22pc and Japan 7pc. China’s investment in R&D has also had a substantial impact, as evidenced by the fact that private businesses have contributed two-thirds of the overall investment. The list of accomplishments in basic research is extensive and includes areas like deep-sea exploration, quantum computing and nanotechnology.
For the first time, China has also formed national committees for ethics and sci-tech advisory, that will protect scientists from cumbersome red-tapism and allow them to focus more on research priorities.
Even while China has made incredible progress in a number of areas, it still believes that additional steps and efforts are necessary for further advancement, and it is working hard to carve out a unique position for itself in the global technological sector.
China has a population of more than 1.5 billion people who happen to be very organised, not behaving like a herd of sheep. This makes China a lucrative economic hub for the entire world as well as having a sizable domestic market.
China has no racial, political divisions, allowing it to focus on merit. Experts predict that China will continue to grow impressively in the years ahead, drawing the attention of the entire world. Pakistan would do well to keep an eye on what China does and how it does it.