There is a lot of conjecture on whether the People’s Republic of China is catching up, has caught up, or is even surpassing the United States in various technology fields that will be critical for economic dominance for the remainder of the century.
It’s not a simple “yes” or “no” answer as there are many fields — 5G, bio-tech, quantum sciences, space tech, advanced computing, material sciences, hypersonics, to name but a few — and how the two nations compare in each category is a complex question.
Both nations have top secret programs and trade secrets in many of these fields so the general public may truly never know how advanced one country is over the other.
But there is one indicator that speaks to how China sees the United States and American technology and know-how. And that’s the number of undergraduate and graduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics students it sends to study at U.S. universities.
Just how many students are there? A Center for Security and Emerging Technology paper released in October tried to get at that answer by using four different data sources. The study, “Estimating the Number of Chinese STEM Students in the United States” by Jacob Feldgoise and Remco Zwetsloot came up with 45,720 undergraduates studying agriculture, biology, computers, engineering, mathematics and physical sciences and 76,060 in either master’s or Ph.D. programs in the same fields.
Read the full article at National Defense Magazine.