China has established itself as the world’s leading science and technology superpower, according to a report by the US-based National Science Foundation (NSF). According to the report, China has taken a commanding lead in various critical and emerging technology domains, such as advanced radio-frequency communications (including 5G and 6G), hypersonics, and electric batteries. On the other hand, the report highlights that the US is leading in only seven technologies, such as quantum computing, vaccines, and space launch systems.
China’s Dominance In Technology
The critical technology tracker showed that for some technologies, all of the world’s top ten leading research institutions are based in China, generating nine times more high-impact research papers than the second-ranked country, which is most often the US. In the study, the Chinese Academy of Sciences was ranked either first or second in most of the 44 technologies examined.
The research found that there is a big gap between China and the US as the two leading countries and the rest of the world. There is a smaller group of countries ranked in the second tier, and India and the UK are leading that group. Additional countries that commonly appear in the second-tier group, in many technological fields, include Germany, South Korea, Australia, Italy, and occasionally Japan.
China’s Risk Of Establishing A Monopoly
The report acknowledges China’s impressive technological advancements but warns of the potential risk of China gaining a monopoly in eight critical technological fields such as nanoscale materials, hydrogen, and synthetic biology. The report also suggests that US intelligence agencies could have predicted China’s success in nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles in 2021 if they had monitored China’s progress in advanced aircraft engines, including hypersonics, which China has dominated for the past five years. China is responsible for almost half (48.49%) of the world’s significant research papers in this area and hosts seven of the top ten research institutions globally.
Potential Risks Of China’s Dominance
The competition between China and the US in the field of technology is a cause for concern, especially as the world struggles to establish a diplomatic stance. It could destabilize the whole international environment, not just bilateral US-China relations. The digital sphere is subject to regionalization, just like other political and economic spheres. Creating alternative platforms for diplomatic meetings and international organizations appears to be overly idealistic in the current global context.
China’s growing influence in technology and innovation has raised concerns about its intentions and possible global domination. Experts caution that China’s technological advancement may lead to a shift in the balance of power worldwide and enhance its military capabilities.
To prevent China’s ascent in technology from undermining the interests and security of other nations, the international community must remain alert and take steps such as increased transparency in China’s research activities and promoting a more collaborative approach to global technological advancement.