As the trade and tech war between the US and China heats up, a new report says China is leading in 37 of 44 key technologies.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) conducted a study that was funded by the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center and a grant from The Special Competitive Studies Project. The goal of the study was to see which countries had a technological lead.
According to ASPI, China leads the US in all but seven areas. The areas where the US still has a lead are:
- High-performance computing
- Advanced integrated circuit design and fabrication
- Natural language processing
- Quantum computing
- Vaccines and medical countermeasures
- Small satellites
- Space launch systems
In every other category, ranging from manufacturing materials to AI algorithms to nuclear waste management, China has the lead. ASPI says this could have profound, long-term repercussions:
China’s overall research lead, and its dominant concentration of expertise across a range of strategic sectors, has short and long term implications for democratic nations. In the long term, China’s leading research position means that it has set itself up to excel not just in current technological development in almost all sectors, but in future technologies that don’t yet exist. Unchecked, this could shift not just technological development and control but global power and influence to an authoritarian state where the development, testing and application of emerging, critical and military technologies isn’t open and transparent and where it can’t be scrutinised by independent civil society and media.
In the more immediate term, that lead—coupled with successful strategies for translating research breakthroughs to commercial systems and products that are fed into an efficient manufacturing base—could allow China to gain a stranglehold on the global supply of certain critical technologies.
The full report is here and well worth a read.