China-US Research: Common Good Must Triumph Over Mutual Suspicion, Says New Report
August 3, 2022

Findings show the global importance of China-US research collaboration and the value of international university networks

HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Competition between China and the United States has seeped into bilateral research collaborations and has the potential to disrupt projects and relationships which are mutually beneficial. US universities are being warned about the need to safeguard intellectual property against perceived conflicts of interest. In some cases, relationships are being de-stabilized by suspicion. A few scientists have had legal action taken against them.

Yet, as a new report from APRU and Elsevier demonstrates, the world cannot afford a break between the two largest producers of published research. Each country produces around 20% of the world’s scholarly output. Their co-publications constitute by far the largest bilateral research relationship. They also share leading research talent.

The report “For the Common Good: APRU and the China-US Research Landscape” shows the importance of maintaining relationships that have been built over decades for the benefit of global society.

“Despite geopolitical tensions, international scholarly collaborations in science remain crucial to addressing challenges such as the COVID pandemic and the existential threat of accelerating climate change,” said Dr. Christopher Tremewan, APRU Secretary General.

APRU is a consortium of 60 leading research universities linking the Americas, Asia, and Australasia dedicated to international research collaboration on global challenges. It acts as a non-political, neutral platform for institutions to work together.

The report found that nearly 40% of China-US research publications involve one or more APRU universities, making the network pivotal to maintaining and strengthening relationships.

In providing further proof of the benefits to global society, the report’s data show that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals relating to health, energy, sustainability, and climate action are areas of strength for the bilateral relationship and APRU’s 60 members.

“International collaboration is crucial to address research towards our global common good, and naturally the research done by the two largest research nations—China and the United States—as well as their collaboration is of key importance,” said Dr. Anders Karlsson, Vice President of Global Strategic Networks at Elsevier. “In this nexus, leading university networks such as APRU have a key role to play as a catalyzer of not only research collaborations but also student exchange and for knowledge exchange around university governance and resilience in situations of crisis. We hope this report can serve as inspiration for further discussion around strengthening China-US collaborations, and the role university networks such as APRU can play.”

The report was developed using Elsevier’s Bibliometric tools, Scopus and SciVal. The report can be accessed on APRU’s website [Full Report / Infographics].

About APRU
As a network of 60 leading universities linking the Americas, Asia, and Australasia, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) brings together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. They leverage the collective education and research capabilities of their members into the international public policy process. In the post-pandemic era, their strategic priorities focus on providing a neutral platform for high-level policy dialogue, taking actions on climate change, and supporting diversity, inclusion, and minorities. APRU’s primary activities support these strategic priorities with a focus on key areas such as disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, indigenous knowledge, virtual student exchange, esports, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence, waste management, and more. For more information, please visit

About Elsevier
As a global leader in information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. They do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making for customers across the global research and health ecosystems. In everything they publish, they uphold the highest standards of quality and integrity. Elsevier brings that same rigor to their information analytics solutions for researchers, health professionals, institutions, and funders. Elsevier employs 8,100 people worldwide. They have supported the work of their research and health partners for more than 140 years. Growing from their roots in publishing, they offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help their users make breakthroughs and drive societal progress. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit