Jul 20, 2019 | Updated: 08:54 AM EDT

China Is Taking Over Leadership in Science

Jun 28, 2017 08:59 AM EDT

Trump and Xi Jinping
(Photo : Flickr)

China is moving fast in science and technology, and the United States may lose its place.

China has been upping their investments in scientific research and development, according to the new Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 report of the National Science Board. 

The US feels threatened. "International activities in R&D is a good thing. We support that," said Kelvin Droegemeier, National Science Board vice chair. "But the issue here is how the US is faring in the face of that competition."

But don't worry America, you're still the lead in science and engineering spending as you account for 27 percent of global science and technology costs. China just may be catching up. 

China country now makes up to 20 percent of the cost and is on the rise, increasing its science and tech expenditures by 19.5 on average each year.

So maybe it is time for the US to worry.

China's not only increasing science spending costs at a rapid pace, but citizens of China are working towards science and engineering educations far more than the United States. Roughly 49 percent of bachelor's degrees in these fields come from China, whereas 33 percent comes from the United States. What's more, science and engineering degrees increased by 300 percent between 2000 and 2012 in China. 

It sounds like the United States needs to step up its game. Federal investments in science and technology have decreased in the country. This is concerning since the National Science Board highlights that education in these fields is essential in increasing technological advancement and helping students and universities in their scientific endeavors.

"Obviously you look at those graphs, and China stands out very clearly," said Droegemeier. "We very much celebrate the emergence of other countries doing R&D. There's plenty of room for lots of players... It really is about US competitiveness and making sure we remain competitive. We've got to continue speeding up and accelerating our investments."

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