CSET’s Emily S. Weinstein provided expert insights in a weekly digest by Foreign Policy discussing a recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute that evaluates the technology advantages of the AUKUS alliance compared to China. The report found that China has a significant lead over the AUKUS nations in 19 out of 23 critical technology fields. The report mostly focuses around emerging technologies, including hypersonic weapons, quantum technology, and cybersecurity, among others.
Weinstein offered her perspective on the report, emphasizing that “Public research output is not at all the same as innovation or capital technology leadership.” She highlighted the need to consider multiple metrics, stating, “Research is just one way to assess a country’s innovative capacity, but it has to be looked at in conjunction with other metrics—things like patenting or investment going into that country and that specific sector of technology.” She added, “At just a super fundamental level, China has more people, so of course they’re possibly going to publish more papers.” Additionally, she expressed doubts about China’s quantum technology leadership, saying, “For me, it’s hard to make the argument that China is leading in quantum because the technology has not been fully realized. If it’s an emerging technology, it’s not established and it’s pretty hard to define anyway.”
Read the full weekly digest in Foreign Policy.