China’s moonlanding on January 3rd signalled the soaring ambition of its science. Our cover this week looks at whether the world should be worried by the prospect of a scientific superpower wrapped up in a one-party dictatorship. China is pouring billions of dollars into research across a vast range of disciplines—its scientists published more papers than those of any other country in 23 of the 30 busiest fields. President Xi Jinping is counting on being able to harness leading-edge research even as the Communist Party tightens its stranglehold on politics. Amid the growing rivalry between China and America, many in the West fear that he will succeed.
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