Speaking of China, two graphs from the brand-spanking-new Science and Engineering Indicators 2010:
I detect some trends.
As the token American in a Dev Bio Lab (who doesn't hold a PhD nor is a biologist, but that's another story...) I know first hand not all PhD's are equal. Some EU schools confer PhD like education but do not award the title. The US citizen / foreign is an interesting trend. The rule of thumb for Chinese students is the best ones come here for their terminal degree.
The other part is this graph is not adjusted for population. As a total number of PhDs awarded, the US still leads despite having far less population. Furthermore, the graph combines EU in one and separates them in the other.
Since the population in the US and China are significantly different it would be good to have the percentage of PhD's in each country.
Thanks. I heard this mentioned at Science Online and your linked lead me right to where I needed to go.