China has become the world leader in both scientific research output and "high impact" studies, surpassing the United States, a Japanese report shows.
The figures come from a report published by Japan's National Institute of Science and Technology Policy on Tuesday, based on yearly averages between 2018 and 2020.
"Research papers are considered higher quality the more they are cited by others," according to NIKKEI Asia.
Chinese research, which is number one in the world, comprised 27.2 percent, or 4,744, of the world's top one percent most frequently cited papers, while the U.S.' number is 24.9 percent, or 4,330, and thirdly the UK at 5.5 percent, according to the report.
"China is one of the top countries in the world in terms of both the quantity and quality of scientific papers," said Shinichi Kuroki, deputy director-general of the Asia and Pacific Research Center at the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
Chinese research within the fields of material science, chemistry, engineering and mathematics accounted for a high proportion, the report shows.