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China's next path to world domination: science

Chinese solar observatory equipment in a field in front of a beautiful sunset or sunrise.
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.

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