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China Center Chart of the Week: China’s growth rate for R&D investment is not exceptionally fast

This China Center members-only chart shows the trajectory of public and private R&D spending when the countries being compared hit the level of 1 percent of GDP. For the United States, that year is 1951, and for China the year is 2000. The data help to clarify a common misunderstanding about the rapid increase in R&D spending in China versus the relatively stable R&D spending in the United States. Science policy analysts are concerned that, if China keeps expanding R&D investment at its current rate, China will surpass the United States in R&D spending in the near future. Our research suggests that China is expected to expand R&D rapidly because it is still at the early takeoff stage, where the level of R&D spending is relatively low (but growth rate is relatively high due to the low base effect).






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