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Policy report

This 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. China’s global lead extends to 37 out of 44 technologies that ASPI is now tracking, covering a range of crucial technology fields spanning defence, space, robotics, energy, the environment, biotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), advanced materials and key quantum technology areas.

This project—including some of its more surprising findings—further highlights the gap in our understanding of the critical technology ecosystem, including its current trajectory. It’s important that we seek to fill this gap so we don’t face a future in which one or two countries dominate new and emerging industries (something that recently occurred in 5G technologies) and so countries have ongoing access to trusted and secure critical technology supply chains.

The authors outline 23 policy recommendations for partners and allies to act on collaboratively and individually. They span across the four themes of investment and talent; global partnerships; intelligence; and moonshots. While China is in front, it’s important for democracies to take stock of their combined and complementary strengths. When added up, they have the aggregate lead in many technology areas.

Related Information

ASPI’s Critical Technology Tracker https://techtracker.aspi.org.au/

Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
Policy Brief Report No. 69/2023