We recently posted a story about how the growth of Chinese innovation, when studied closely, isn’t flying ahead at the pace many analysts suggest. Now comes this story about how plagiarism pervades Chinese academia, especially in science and life science papers. When the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science became the first to subscribe to anti-plagiarism software, the editors discovered surprising results:
‘In almost two years, we find about 31 percent of papers with unreasonable copy[ing] and plagiarism,’ [journal director Helen Zhang] says, shaking her head. ‘This is true.’ For computer science and life science papers, that figure went up to almost 40 percent.
Add that to hints that China is behind the recent swarm of cyber attacks targeting various governments and international organizations and you have a picture of China’s “peaceful rise” that is less peaceful, and also less of a rise that is widely believed.Uncertainty about what China wants and where it is headed is a something we all, including the Chinese, have to live with. Right now, it’s more fashionable to overrate China than to underrate it; as usual, the fashion is wrong.