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Chinese Tech Supremacy Acknowledged by Australian Think Tank

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In an analysis conducted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), it has been revealed that China is leading research in 19 out of 23 technologies identified as priorities by the AUKUS defense partnership of Australia, Britain, and the United States. This includes critical areas such as hypersonics, electronic warfare, and undersea drones. The findings underscore the need for Western allies to collaborate and pool their research efforts, according to the Australian security think tank.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute Highlights China’s Leadership in Hypersonics, Electronic Warfare, and Undersea Drones

Based on the report by ASPI, the British News Agency highlighted that China’s research capabilities are at the forefront of the technologies likely to fall under AUKUS’ “Pillar Two.” The survey of the world’s top scientific papers indicated China’s dominant position in these key areas of defense collaboration.

Hypersonic aircraft and weapons, which travel at speeds five times faster than the speed of sound, can be launched from near-space, providing minimal time for detection

However, the sharing of U.S. defense technology is subject to stringent controls, and concerns have been raised by analysts that bureaucratic hurdles could impede not only the AUKUS nuclear submarine program but also the advancement of “Pillar Two.” This refers to the intensified cooperation among the partner nations in hypersonic and counter-hypersonic technology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and electronic warfare.

 

ASPI’s analysis of two million scientific papers revealed that China holds a significant lead in hypersonics research, as well as the technology necessary to counter hypersonic threats. Additionally, China has made substantial progress in electronic warfare capabilities and key undersea technologies.

Hypersonic aircraft and weapons, which travel at speeds five times faster than the speed of sound, can be launched from near-space, providing minimal time for detection. ASPI noted that space-based sensors and advanced algorithms are utilized for hypersonic detection and trajectory analysis.

The survey of the world’s top scientific papers indicated China’s dominant position in these key areas of defense collaboration.

The research institute also emphasized the importance of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that can operate without remote control, enabling long-range surveillance and anti-submarine warfare missions.

 

The significance of undersea capabilities was highlighted when unexplained undersea explosions damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, connecting Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea in September 2022. While the U.S. labeled the incident as sabotage, Moscow blamed the West. However, neither side has provided concrete evidence to support their claims.

Beijing Limits Chinese Data in Response to US Think Tank Reports

ASPI’s analysis further noted that in certain areas, the combined efforts of AUKUS countries have positioned them as global leaders in research. These areas include advanced robotics, adversarial AI-reverse engineering, cybersecurity capabilities, and quantum sensors.

Adversarial AI-reverse engineering involves uncovering data from an AI system for the purpose of building models. Quantum computing, led by the United States, is expected to revolutionize problem-solving and communication capabilities. Quantum sensors, crucial for threat detection in defense applications, were also highlighted by ASPI.

 

In March, the AUKUS partners announced Australia’s plan to invest up to $245 billion in acquiring nuclear-powered attack submarines from the early 2030s. This move aims to bolster regional security in the Indo-Pacific region, given China’s rapid naval expansion.

 

This week, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy will travel to the United States for discussions with Congress regarding draft legislation that would enable the sale of two U.S. Virginia-class submarines to Australia, as well as the utilization of Australian funds to expand U.S. naval shipyard capacity. Conroy stated that these legislative proposals are vital steps for the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines program.

 

A draft proposal submitted to the U.S. Congress in May outlined the potential transfer of up to two Virginia-class submarines from the U.S. Navy to Australia in order to “maintain our collective defense.”

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