China lacks good scientific research institutions. Although Chinese high schools have been shown to be some of the best in the world, especially in Shanghai, students are taught to pass examinations rather than to show genuine creativity. Also, most research and development projects are sent overseas where there is less corruption and plagiarism.
I hate to say it, but apparently the answer is yes. Most of what China has in terms of scientific breakthroughs does not come from the innovation of its own people, but through industrial and laboratory espionage. China is good at infiltrating and hacking, but not at developing anything original.
I believe that China is slightly disadvantaged when it comes to achieving scientific supremacy. I believe the education system, as a whole, still has a long way to go, before it can foster great minds from the Chinese community on a regular basis. I also believe they lack the infrastructure and modernity needed to do so, much in the same way the American community did during it's industrialization period.
China is at a major advantage to achieve scientific supremacy. That huge advantage is the laws in China. China has the ability to basically copy any other countries scientific break throughs and not really see any backlash on it. At the same time they can protect their own. This is a big advantage.
China already dominates the world scene as far as scientific discoveries are concerned. The nation's youth far outperform the youth of other nations in scientific performance. With that in mind, the country isn't disadvantaged in any way in this particular field. China actually has a sizable advantage in this area.