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China Goes up Index's Innovation Rankings

China is steadily progressing in its overall ability to innovate, a report released last Friday by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development showed.

The nation overtook Belgium to rank No 17 among 40 countries in the national innovation index report 2016-17, moving one place up from last year's ranking.

The top five countries on the index are the United States, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea and Denmark. China is the only developing country among the top 20.

Wu Yishan, vice-president at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development, said the national innovation index is an important indicator reflecting the nation's comprehensive innovation capability.

The report said China's research and development expenditure hit $227.54 billion in 2015, remaining the world's second-highest spender and accounting for 15.6 percent of the global total. This proportion stood at only 1.7 percent in 2000.

The number of China's R&D personnel accounted for 31.1 percent of the world's total in this year's report, ranking No 1 for nine consecutive years since 2007.

Wu said the 40 countries in the index altogether contributed 95 percent of the world's total R&D expenditure.

The country's Science Citation Index papers amounted to 281,000, accounting for 14.4 percent of the global total. More than 263,000 invention patents have been granted, surpassing Japan for the first time and ranking No 1 globally, according to the report.

The report's analysis showed the 40 countries in the index fall into three groups. The top 15 countries on the comprehensive index belong to the first group, mainly European and North American developed economies, commonly known as innovative countries.

The second group, ranking from No 16 to 30, are other developed countries and a few emerging economies, where China is in a leading position.

Among the 10 emerging economies evaluated, only China's ranking moved up compared with last year's results. Russia dropped one place, while another eight countries maintained the same rankings.

Among the five sub-indices constituting the national innovation index, China's knowledge creation marched four places ahead and its corporate innovation ranking moved up one place. Its rankings for innovation resources, performance and environment were all one place lower than last year's results.

The innovation environment survey suggested China's innovation market environment has been affected amid the wider context of a downturn in economic growth, but the Chinese government is still in a leading position globally in terms of support given to innovation, said Xuan Zhaohui, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.

Source: China Daily