This report summarizes how leading nations of Europe and North America view the state of China's science and technology, and how they are pursuing science and technology cooperation with China.
During the summer of 2014, we members of the CRDS Overseas Research Unit visited and interviewed personnel involved with science and technology at various countries' embassies in Beijing. Most of the content below resulted from those interviews.
The words of the people we interviewed are not directly quoted here in. The first reason is that we were unable to bring recording devices into the embassies and so on where we performed the interviews, so it would be difficult to ensure accurate quotation. Moreover, the interviews did not consist of us just listening to people talk; they were discussions. The content below is the result of analysis of those discussions. Furthermore, the interviews were all conducted in English, so translating them into Japanese for this Japanese report might lead to some discrepancies. In practice, of course, the interview contents are the heart of this report.
According to our research ,we found the following conclusions
① as for how leading nations of Europe and North America view the state of Chinese science and technology, there is no much difference among them. Each country is amazed at the way China has leapt forward in recent years, especially since entering the 21st century. Until about 10 years ago, China's research and development expenditure was meagre, and its facilities and equipment were not up-to-date. Although large research staffs were employed, few personnel received adequate training, and outstanding Chinese human resources were left in Europe, the USA, Japan, and so on. That changed dramatically with economic development. Today, China is second in the world in research and development expenditure measured in purchasing parity, having passed Japan and trailing only the USA. In terms of research personnel as well, an increase in the number of posts in China and the spread of policies to lure personnel from overseas have led many researchers studying or working abroad to return to China. Indeed, the number of researchers has passed the USA to rise to first in the world. China's facilities, equipment, experimental apparatuses, and so on are not inferior to those of Europe, the USA, Japan, etc., they are the most up-to-date and advanced in the world.
If, however, one asks if China has achieved commensurate results, the S&T-related personnel of each of the countries were united in the view that it has not. China passed through eras of chaos, with foreign invasions, internal disorder, and so forth, and research and development on science and technology in a calm atmosphere really only began no more than about 40 years ago after the Cultural Revolution ended. It is therefore conceivable that the cultural foundation for fostering science and technology is insufficient and is a contributing factor to less than adequate results.
② China As for whether science and technology cooperation with China is necessary, each country has clear ideas, and none of them rejects cooperation itself. They differ, however, on the forms that cooperation should take.