China is beating the West in the race for critical technologies, the report said


China leads the world in 37 of 44 critical technologies, according to a report from an Australian think tank.

China leads the world in 37 of 44 critical technologies, with Western democracies falling behind in the race for scientific and research breakthroughs, a report from an Australian think tank found.

According to the report of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy (ASPI).

Key areas dominated by China include drones, machine learning, electric batteries, nuclear power, photovoltaics, quantum sensors and the extraction of critical minerals, according to the Critical Technology Tracker released Thursday.

China’s dominance in some areas is so entrenched that, according to ASPI, all of the world’s top 10 leading research institutions for certain technologies are based in the country.

By comparison, the United States leads in just seven critical technologies, including space launch systems and quantum computing, according to ASPI, which receives funding from the governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and the US, as well as private sector sources including the defense and technology industry. -industry. .

The UK and India are among the top five countries in 29 of the 44 technologies, while South Korea and Germany are the top five in 20 and 17 technologies, respectively, the report said.

ASPI said China’s growing prowess in critical technologies, which the think tank attributed to long-term policy planning, should be a “wake-up call for democratic nations.”

“In the long run, China’s leading research position means that it has set itself to excel not only in current technological development in almost all sectors, but also in future technologies that do not yet exist,” ASPI said in a commentary accompanying the report.

“Left unchecked, this could shift not only technological development and control, but also global power and influence, to an authoritarian state where the development, testing, and application of emerging, critical, and military technologies is not open, transparent, and can be monitored by independent civil society and media.”

The think tank made 23 recommendations for Western countries and their partners and allies. They include setting up sovereign wealth funds to finance research and development (R&D), facilitating technology visas, friend-shoring and R&D grants between countries, and pursuing new public-private partnerships.

The US and China are engaged in a heated battle for power and influence that has led to moves to uncouple their economies. US President Joe Biden’s administration has introduced a series of export controls and fiscal stimulus to hamper China’s tech industry and restore domestic production.

On Thursday, the US Department of Commerce added 37 entities to a trade blacklist for a range of alleged activities, including supporting China’s military and facilitating human rights abuses in the country.

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