China's scientific research is currently growing faster than that of any other country. China has the world's second highest number of researchers, at 923,000, behind the United States. By the end of 2006, China will also become the world's second highest investor in research and development (R&D), again behind the United States, with a forecast expenditure of over USD136 billion (at Purchasing Power Parity).
According to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), the output of research papers from China has soared from 10,000 papers per year in 1990 to over 80,000 papers per year in 2006. To put this in context, it is now at the same level as the United Kingdom and Japan. More importantly, the number of very high impact papers (top 1 percentile of ISI citations) has increased from 21 in 1994 to 223 in 2003 - a tenfold jump.