China has overtaken Belgium on a global innovation index to reach 17th out of 40 countries as it begins work on a new internet security institute to train people in how to keep the internet safe, which could contradict the effort to make China a center of innovation.

The index is researched by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) which is run by the state. It measures various aspects such as R&D spending, number of citations of a country’s research and patents applied for. In first place is the US followed by Japan, Switzerland, South Korea and Denmark to make up the top five. Singapore in 9th place was the only other Asian nation in the top twenty.

China has excelled in patents and citations; its R&D spending now makes up 15.6% of the world total up from 1.7% in 2000, allowing the country to squeeze past Belgium to take 17th place and is the only developing country in the top 20 and aims to climb to 15th by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020). State media also announced that construction began Wednesday on an internet security training institute in Hubei.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...