A recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has concluded that China appears to be gaining the upper hand in the race to develop advanced technologies and retain top talent, outpacing the United States and other western nations. The year-long project tracked 44 key technologies, revealing that China currently holds the lead in 37 of them, including electric batteries, hypersonics, and advanced radio-frequency communications such as 5G and 6G. Meanwhile, the US continues to lead in just seven technologies, including vaccines, quantum computing, and space launch systems. The report's findings suggest that China may be on the verge of establishing a monopoly in some critical areas.
“Our research reveals that China has built the foundations to position itself as the world’s leading science and technology superpower, by establishing a sometimes stunning lead in high-impact research across the majority of critical and emerging technology domains,” the reports read. “The critical technology tracker shows that, for some technologies, all of the world’s top 10 leading research institutions are based in China and are collectively generating nine times more high-impact research papers than the second-ranked country (most often the US)," it added.
According to the report, the Chinese Academy of Sciences was ranked either first or second in most of the 44 tech sectors that the study considered. The world faces the risk of China monopolising sectors such as nanoscale materials and manufacturing, hydrogen and ammonia for power, and synthetic biology. “The data then indicates a small, second-tier group of countries led by India and the UK: other countries that regularly appear in this group-in many technological fields— include South Korea, Germany, Australia, Italy, and less often, Japan,” the study added. The research paper was launched at the Raisina Dialouge which is being held in New Delhi. It was conducted by Jamie Gaida, who is a senior analyst at the institute’s international cyber policy centre.