China has a “stunning lead” in 37 out of 44 critical and emerging technologies as Western democracies lose a global competition for research output, a security think tank said on Thursday after tracking defense, space, energy, and biotechnology.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said its study showed that, in some fields, all of the world’s top 10 research institutions are based in China.
The study, funded by the United States State Department, found the United States was often second-ranked, although it led global research in 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 said, urging greater research investment by governments.
China had established a “stunning lead in high-impact research” under government programs. The report called for democratic nations to collaborate more often to create secure supply chains and “rapidly pursue a strategic critical technology step-up”.