The 2022 Global Innovation Index, an annual ranking of the world’s economies on innovation capacity and output, placed China at the 11th place in 2022, up from the 12th place in 2021. China remains the only middle-income economy in the top 30.
Since the 18th Communist Party of China National Congress, the central government has promoted science and technology innovations and introducing relevant policies at a massive scale. The 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, adopted at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), made science and technology independence and development the top priority.
In 2021, China became the world’s second largest R&D spender with a total R&D expenditure of 2.44 percent of its GDP, and 6.09 percent of such spending going to basic research, marking a year-on-year growth of 15.6 percent. Meanwhile, the turnover of China’s technology contracts exceeded 3.7 trillion yuan and the number of its domestic patents granted and of international patents filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty ranked first worldwide. China’s high-tech product exports was worth nearly $980 billion.
So far, China has established science and technology partnerships with over 160 countries and regions and is a member of more than 200 international organizations and multilateral mechanisms. China also participates in a number of international science programs and projects, such as ITER、GEO、SKA, exchanging ideas in areas including health, climate change, clean energy, artificial intelligence, biomedicine and modern agriculture with global partners.
Science and technology in China are getting integrated into people’s lives to an unprecedented degree. The scaling of the 5G network and the widespread use of smartphones have driven everyday life online, making mobile payments, mobile car-hailing and mobile information submission indispensable for almost everyone.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, during the ten years between 2012 and 2021, the size of China’s digital economy increased from 11 to 45 trillion yuan and its share in national GDP rose from 21.6 percent to 39.8 percent. In spite of external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent years have seen digital technology uninterruptedly transforming traditional industries, as well as facilitating innovations. As online shopping flourishes, new business models such as live commerce, online education, remote medical consultations and remote work are mushrooming.