China is “overwhelmingly ahead” of the US in research on advanced sensor technologies for defense, a new report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has claimed.
Beijing reportedly leads in 10 technology areas, including inertial navigation systems, which are crucial when global positioning systems are targeted by jamming and spoofing attacks.
Additionally, the country ramped up its research on magnetic field sensors, multispectral and hyperspectral imaging sensors, radar systems, and sonar and acoustic sensors.
On the other hand, the US only leads in the remaining three areas, which include quantum sensors, atomic clocks, and gravitational sensors.
According to the Australian researchers, China is so far ahead that even if the three AUKUS partners (Australia, the UK, and the US) joined forces, they would still “lag badly” in six of the seven areas.
“Even if the three team up with like-minded Indo-Pacific countries Japan and South Korea, they do not match the Chinese output in high-impact research,” the report noted.
Dominating in More Areas
ASPI published its recent findings amid the ongoing tech race between the two military superpowers.
Chinese President Xi Jinping wanted to prioritize technological advancements over economic growth to stay ahead of its near-peer adversaries, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.
CIA official Jennifer Ewbank acknowledged that Beijing has access to far more data than the US, giving it an advantage in developing artificial intelligence.
This was reflected in the ASPI report, noting that across the broad range of 64 more specific technologies measured so far, China is leading in 53 technologies against 11 for the US.
The top Chinese universities contributing to increased sensor research include the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Wuhan University, which lead in papers on seven of 10 sensor tech areas.
‘A Wake-Up Call’
ASPI warned the recent findings should serve as a “wake-up call” for the US and its allies to ramp up their tech research and development (R&D).
Governments around the world should reportedly work collaboratively to keep pace with China by paying greater attention to the Indo-Pacific.
Additionally, the report suggested that the US must establish “technology visas” to allow sharing and R&D grants between allies.