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China Outpacing US In Global Competition For Key Emerging Technology

Darian Douraghy
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On Thursday, a security think tank reported that as Western democracies struggle in a global race for research output in defense, space, energy, and biotechnology, China has established a “stunning lead” in 37 out of 44 critical and emerging technologies.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said its study reveals that the top 10 research institutions in many fields are solely based in China. 

Other revelations of the U.S. State Department-funded study include that the U.S. was often ranked at number two, while it ranked at the top for global research of high-performance computing, quantum computing, small satellites, and vaccines.


“Western democracies are losing the global technological competition, including the race for scientific and research breakthroughs,” the report stated, calling for state entities to invest in research more deeply. 

Government programs led by China have reportedly established a “stunning lead in high-impact research.” 

The report urged so-called ‘democratic nations’ to work together and secure supply chains while “rapidly pursu[ing] a strategic critical technology step-up.”

ASPI’s research noted that China generated almost half (48.49%) of the world’s most impactful research papers into advanced aircraft engines in the past five years, including hypersonics. 

It also alleged that China’s improvements in the research of photonic sensors and quantum communication may empower it to dodge western surveillance, including the “Five Eyes” of Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. 


The People’s Republic of China is expected to monopolize 10 scientific fields, such as synthetic biology, electric batteries, 5G, and nanomanufacturing. Meanwhile, an estimated one in five Chinese researchers has practiced in a  Five Eyes country.

China is quite advanced with its integration of technology in society, as was seen in a video posted to Twitter by commentator David Vance allegedly showing Chinese citizens using their faces in order to pay for food. 

“China. Facial recognition technology deployed for you to pay for your lunch,” Vance wrote online. “If you get a negative social credit score for saying the wrong things, you go without. This is what they have in mind for us.”