writes "An analysis of papers published in 10,500 academic journals across the world shows that, in terms of academic papers published, China is now second only to the US, and will take first place by 2020. Chinese scientists are increasing their output at a far faster rate than counterparts in rival 'emerging' nations such as India, Russia, and Brazil. The number of peer-reviewed papers published by Chinese researchers rose 64-fold over the past 30 years. 'China is out on its own, far ahead of the pack,' says James Wilsdon, of the Royal Society in London. 'If anything, China's recent research performance has exceeded even the high expectations of four or five years ago.' According to Wilsdon, three main factors are driving Chinese research. First is the government's enormous investment, with funding increases far above the rate of inflation, at all levels of the system from schools to postgraduate research. Second is the organized flow of knowledge from basic science to commercial applications. And third is the efficient and flexible way in which China is tapping the expertise of its extensive scientific diaspora in North America and Europe, tempting back mid-career scientists with deals that allow them to spend part of the year working in the West and part in China."
Here's the Financial Times's original article