The U.S. spent some $400 billion on research and development last year, well over twice the amount invested by China, its next closest rival. But as the U.S. rolls back research budgets in 2012, China will take another approach: When its current leaders step down next fall, their replacements will oversee a major increase in science spending.
It will be the latest in a long series of efforts to modernize. Premier Deng Xiaoping opened China to foreign trade in the 1980s, bringing market forces to bear on rural production. In the 1990s, president Jiang Zemin oversaw a low-wage production boom in China's coastal factory towns. And current president Hu Jintao has focused on spreading growth to inland cities.
Now the incoming generation of leadership, likely to be headed up by vice president Xi Jinping, is confronted by a paradox. China's rapid growth is imperiling its status as a low-wage manufacturing destination. And that's why its new Five Year Plan calls for spending on R&D to be increased to 2.2 percent of GDP, up from 1.8 percent in 2010. China is investing in industries that will support higher incomes.
The country already has considerable research momentum. A study from the British Royal Society found that China could overtake the U.S. in output of scientific papers by 2013. And next year, its planned Shenzhou 9 and 10 flights will dock with the new Tiangong 1 space lab, cementing China's status as the first new country to achieve an independent manned space program since the days of the U.S.-Soviet space race.
That old rivalry was primarily a zero-sum military competition. But a race for discovery and innovation is ultimately one in which every nation benefits. Faced with cutbacks at home, it will be hard for Americans to avoid the conclusion that this particular rival is pulling closer just in time.
2012: THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
So China is going to over take the USA. With the anti-science GOP in charge of our government it serves them right that China is going to leave us eating there dust. The GOP is more concern joining the Islamic world elites in kill and enslave the world for god. I hope this shakes the USA up to stop going down this path that what we need a good kick in the ass to wake us up.
@the time traveler
History has shown that the U.S. has needed it's ass kicked in one fashion or another to spur progress on a globally worthy scale. Pearl Harbor, The Korean War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Iraqi attempt to invade Kuwait (more of a threat than a boot to the ass), 9/11. All of these are examples of instances where this country needed to be motivated into action on the things that mattered most. If it weren't for Pearl Harbor, our war machine wouldn't be what it is today. If it weren't for the Korean War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, and other catalysts of the Cold War, we would never have pushed to set foot on another world, let alone push the limits to journey towards the edge of space. If it weren't for Saddam's challenge to American forces in Kuwait, the U.S. Air Force would not have risen to the modern prominence forsaw by Billy Mitchell during the Interwar Years through Operation Desert Storm. The U.S. has historically needed a kick in the pants to be inspired. China is still a ways off from surpassing the U.S. in aerospace technology. However their surpassing the U.S. in scientific research output within the year should serve as a kick in the pants for Americans to step up to the plate and crack at it. If that doesn't (which we know it won't) the yield in technological innovation along with the increased industrial complex of the nation may yet serve to be the wake up call the U.S. needs. The question is, could the country survive another Cold War level competition with a communist nation rising in power during a period of our economic stagnation in comparison?
One may thing China is in space.
but from the looks of this space suit, I think
"Kool-aid" made it in space first, lol.
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
Global Government + Major science funding = All we need.
A life without progression isn't a life at all.
The view from the ISS cupola. NI HAO!
Is that a keyboard in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
We have always needed to be motivated to do something. As a country we really don't like to take the initiative. Whenever we've been backed into a corner we've always come out swinging. It would be nice to be a little proactive though. Something about this picture screams propaganda. A red space suit really? I bet regulating the temperature is a total pain. Maybe it was sponsored by P.F. Changs.
Science always asks "can we," but doesn't seem to ask "should we."
The Time traveler said;
"With the anti-science GOP in charge of our government it serves them right that China is going to leave us eating there dust"
You do realize that the DEM's are in charge of the government right?! They control Senate and WH. GOP only controls Congress. So what your really saying is the anti-science Democrats are causing this.
I'm hungry for some P.F. Chang's.
@isit. Will the red color really absorb that much heat when you look at the total output of the suns radiation? I would guess that visible light spectrum is not as big a portion of the energy output as folks think.
@deeotch "Will the red color really absorb that much heat when you look at the total output of the suns radiation? I would guess that visible light spectrum is not as big a portion of the energy output as folks think."
Reality doesn't always meet our expectations. That is why we test a hypothesis with experimentation. Try wearing a dark red shirt while standing in the sun and compare it to wearing a white shirt. The difference is significant.
Another reason to not use red is that it would be difficult to differentiate blood from other liquids.
@the time traveler "With the anti-science GOP in charge of our government it serves them right that China is going to leave us eating there dust"
@Gman46 "You do realize that the DEM's are in charge of the government right?! They control Senate and WH. GOP only controls Congress. So what your really saying is the anti-science Democrats are causing this."
I find it both hilarious and sad how the Republicans and Democrats blame each other for the same things and take responsibility for nothing. Supporters of both sides just eat it up without queston, while the politicians laugh all the way to the bank.
GOP controls the House of Representatives not Congress
Congress = Senate + House of Representatives
thats messed up. seriously. this allows china to advance twice as fast. One we stop spending, two they drastically increase and the worst part is that they are buying while its cheap omg...someone please elect me for president
I can't lie; there is no easy way to bear the burden of shame I feel today as an American. This isn't because we fought are particular war or have a history equally as imperfect as any other great nation.
No, it is because we created our own mess by allowing our industrial plant, along with the great middle class it once supported, to flee to China in search of cheap... if not even slave labor. Now, a decade and a half after the fact, the US can't invent jobs, can't invent revenue from those lost jobs and can't compete on the world stage.
I congratulate China for its scientific achievements... and as one of 300 million surrogate parents here in the US, wish them well in the future. I just hope they don't send us to a nursing home anytime real soon.