China beats West in race for critical technologies, report says | Business and Economics

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

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

China is poised to become the world’s technological superpower, with its leadership already spanning defense, space, robotics, energy, the environment, biotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), advanced materials and key quantum technology, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) report.

Among the key areas dominated by China are drones, machine learning, electric batteries, nuclear energy, photovoltaics, quantum sensors and the extraction of critical minerals, according to the Critical Technology Tracker published on Thursday.

China’s leadership in some fields is so strong that the top 10 research centers in the world for some technologies are located in the country, according to ASPI.

By contrast, 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 tech industries. .

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

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

“In the long term, China’s leading research position means that it is poised to excel not only in current technological development in almost all sectors but in technologies that do not yet exist, ASPI said in a statement accompanying the report.

“Unchecked, this could shift not only technological development and control but global power and influence to an authoritarian state where the development, testing and use of critical technologies and weapons is not open and transparent and cannot be study by. independent civil society and the media.”

The think tank outlined 23 recommendations for Western countries and their partners and allies. They include establishing sovereign wealth funds to finance research and development (R&D), enabling technology visas, “supporting friends” and R&D grants between countries, and continuing new public-private partnerships.

The US and China are locked in a heated competition for power and influence that has fueled moves to delink their economies. US President Joe Biden’s administration has introduced a series of export controls and tax incentives aimed at reinvigorating China’s tech industry and revitalizing domestic manufacturing.

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

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