Ming'antu Solar Observatory in China. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Images via Getty Images
Last week, China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon — the clear sign of their scientific ambition, The Economist reports.
Why it matters: Under President Xi Jinping's direction, China is surging ahead with the recruitment of top scientists to work on new frontiers, while the U.S., without a similarly coherent strategy, risks falling behind the nation that has emerged as its most consequential adversary for the next century.
- China has spent billions of dollars on dark matter detection equipment and scientific institutes, while producing 11% of the most influential scientific papers between 2014 and 2016.
Be smart: "Authoritarian governments have a history of using science to oppress their own people. China already deploys [AI] techniques like facial recognition to monitor its population in real time," The Economist writes.