Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to transform China’s military into the world’s most powerful force by 2050. And he could be on track to do it.
On the opening day of its National People’s Congress in Beijing on Monday, China announced a defense budget of 1.11 trillion yuan (US$175 billion) for 2018. That represents an 8.1% increase in its defence budget, compared to a 7% increase last year.
China’s military has modernized rapidly in recent years. Since January alone, it has demonstrated new capabilities in stealth fighter jets, drones, naval ships and advanced missiles.
Chinese scientists are also working to develop revolutionary technologies that would change the way wars are fought – and the way we live.
While China still lags the US in overall technological capability, it has narrowed the gap substantially. In the coming decades, it is poised to challenge US technological supremacy in key fields such as artificial intelligence, supercomputing and quantum information science.
What explains China’s rise as a technological power?
First, it has leveraged the innovation of other countries via technology transfers, and the acquisition of foreign companies and talent. It has also been reverse-engineering Western technology, and conducting state-sponsored industrial espionage.
According to one security analysis, between 2006 and 2013 the Chinese military stole confidential data from more than 140 organizations around the world. The problem was so serious that in May 2014, the US Department of Justice indicted five Chinese military hackers for cyber-espionage activities against US companies.
Second, China has been able to mobilize resources for priority technology sectors and research and development (R&D) projects in a way that many democracies are simply unable to do because of the limits of government power or popular mandate. Large state subsidies, government R&D funding, tailored regulations, market barriers and lax individual rights (such as privacy) protection have given Chinese domestic companies an edge over their foreign competitors.
A good example of this is the rise of China’s internet sector to global prominence, as represented by giants such as Tencent and Alibaba.
Finally, China has substantially increased its R&D expenditure in recent years. From 2012 to 2017, China’s annual R&D spending rose 70.9% to 1.76 trillion yuan. The US National Science Board expects China to surpass the US in R&D investment, in purchasing power terms, by the end of this year.
Here are a few examples of how China is making rapid progress in high-tech fields with military applications.
Hypersonic technology could one day allow us to travel from Beijing to New York in about two hours, rather than the 13 hours it currently takes. China is developing a hypersonic glide vehicle known as DF-ZF to make its nuclear and non-nuclear missiles extremely fast, maneuverable and capable of defeating existing missile defense systems.
To support this effort, China is building the world’s most advanced hypersonic wind tunnel for testing the extreme conditions of supersonic flight. While an operational hypersonic missile is still years away, once developed it would be a formidable weapon. It could also have a destabilizing effect on strategic relations between China and other powers by compressing the time window for decision-making in a conflict or crisis situation.
China is making rapid headway in quantum communication, computing and cryptography. In August 2016, China launched the world’s first quantum satellite. This enabled Chinese researchers to conduct cutting-edge experiments in quantum entanglement and teleportation. To win the quantum race, China announced last year that it will build the world’s largest quantum research facility at a cost of 76 billion yuan. Another area of China’s focus is quantum technology, which uses subatomic mechanics to process and transmit information in a fraction of the time required by existing technology.
Quantum technology would enable the Chinese military to set up virtually unbreakable communication networks. It would also provide it with overwhelming computing power for information operations, such as the decryption of secret communications by adversaries.
China is also in the advanced stages of developing an electromagnetic railgun. This supergun uses electromagnetic energy to shoot powerful projectiles over vast distances at incredible speed. These projectiles are aerodynamic and their power comes from the kinetic damage generated by the intense speed at which they travel.
Recent photos circulated on Chinese social media show what is suspected to be an experimental electromagnetic railgun mounted on the bow of the Chinese navy ship. This indicates that China may soon be the first in the world to test such a weapon at sea, where it could revolutionize naval combat. In contrast, some reports suggest the US Navy is winding down its railgun research program because of resource constraints and shifting priorities.
Read: Reports of US Navy railgun being abandoned are premature
The above examples are only a few among dozens of high-tech fields in which China is making rapid progress. Others include biotechnology, robotics, supercomputing, nanotechnology, advanced materials, space technology, and artificial intelligence. In fact, the Chinese government has identified 17 engineering and science megaprojects that are key to China’s economic and military strength. These include advanced satellites, large nuclear reactors, large aircraft and high-end electronic chips.
China’s continued rise as a technological giant will have profound implications for its military power as Beijing leverages civilian technology for its military. President Xi considers it a top priority and has created a powerful commission, under his direct leadership, to provide high-level guidance and oversight.
Much hinges on how Beijing chooses to use its new-found military and technological might. Indeed, China’s extensive geopolitical ambitions and increasingly assertive foreign policy are ominous signs that foreshadow the challenges ahead.
Adam Ni, is a Researcher at Australian National University’s Strategic and Defense Studies Centre. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.
Two types of reactions should be expected from the West:
1. These technologies are stolen from the West (who do not even have them yet????)
2. China are threatening the World with these technologies, just like any technology in Chinese hands
But at least one side effect: The West will think it twice before firing the first shot. However, the West’s showing muscles in front of China’s doorstep will continue though, but becoming more and more fun to watch…
I hope that they will succeed. 中國萬歲
That is why they are against the unlimited term for Xi.
What kind of democracies do SKorea, Japan, or Taiwan have? The kind that only a pro-America President can last and independent thinking Presidents most likely end up in jail? Is that called colonies Democracy?
What kinds of technology can Taiwan possibly transfer to China and what threat could it possibly constitute?
This whole piece of garbage article uses the Logic of War and is simply an anti-China propaganda.
"While China still lags the US in overall technological capability,"
Really? According to the Japan Science and Technology Agency, China now ranks as the most influential country in four of eight core scientific fields, tying with the U.S. The agency took the top 10% of the most referenced studies in each field, and determined the number of authors who were affiliated with the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, China or Japan. China ranked first in computer science, mathematics, materials science and engineering. The U.S., on the other hand, led the way in physics, environmental and earth sciences, basic life science and clinical medicine. China is also rapidly catching up in physics, where the U.S. has long dominated. It is spending more than $6 billion to build the world’s largest particle accelerator, which could put it at the forefront of particle physics. https://tinyurl.com/ydeqeqnb.
In January, the United States National Science Foundation reported that the number of scientific publications from China in 2016 outnumbered those from the US for the first time: 426,000 versus 409,000.
46% of technical papers published in the USA have a Chinese co-author.
Chinese scientist Bai Chunli has been re-elected as the president of the World Academy of Sciences for another two years. http://www.china.org.cn/china/2015-11/21/content_37123628.htm
China leads the world in all fields of civil engineering, Manufacturing, Supercomputing, Speech Recognition, Graphenics, Thorium power, Pebble Bed Reactors, Genomics, Thermal Power generation, Quantum Communication Networks, ASW Missiles, In-orbit Satellite Refueling, Passive Array Radar, Metamaterials, Hyperspectral Imaging, Nanotechnology, UHV Electricity transmission, Electric Vehicles, High Speed Rail, Sustainable Energy, Radiotelescopy, All fields of Sustainable Energy Research and Manufacturing, Hypersonic Space Weapons, Satellite Quantum Communications and quantum secure direct communications.
America is behind and will never catch up.
Well lets hope that they are going to be a lot kinder to us than we were to them.
Yes like they would really like to copy the F 35. The flying rock.
If you are going to build the new silk road you have to defend it against the Barbarians from the West.
Thomas Daniel Kuhn
Thanks, that’s the first type of reaction.
This is a third reaction
Ever heard of the saying, the first reaction is always the right one.
When you first put those thoughts down, your subconscious mind already realized the facts of the matter. It’s just that your ego and pride try to compensate for it.
On a more serious note, I wouldn’t quick to call those Chinese scientists or engineers. They’re more likely fall under hackers/pirates/reversed engineers.
Fröit Mi woooow expertize of hackers and making artificial things
You fall in Type1 reaction.
why do we blame China to have stolen western technologies ? Other aspirant nations , as well, can follow Chinese tactics if they can do so.
What’s the use of a modern weapons when their brave soldiers run away from missions…hahahahaha…https://googleweblight.com/i?u=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/un-peacekeepers-refused-to-help-south-sudan-rebels-raped-aid-workers-report&hl=en-IN
Discipline, tolerance, honesty, responsible and compassion are core chinese values. You are then considered a true man and worthy of respect. The worst thing is that the chinese adopt western ways.
So true……hahahahaha…like in 1962…….the Indian Eastern Army just dropped their weapons and fled into the hills. 4000 brave Indian sepoys were martyled and went to paradise to meet their mother god and monkey gods. The lucky ones were the 3400 pow.
Facebook is utterly failing in checking and stamping out wumao 50 cent armies trolling all over the internet using fake names and profiles. Just look at this comment section
Richard Kong oh….u still stuck in 1962…maybe u should read regarding 1967 and 1987 as well(hope PLA doesn’t arrest you for reading about more of their failures…heheheh) …and how about the most recent….Doklam…where PLA talked too tough of war if Indian troops do not return unilaterally…but eventually China agreed to India’s terms and conditions of mutual withdrawl and halting of road construction in Bhutanese territory…hahahaha….how abt that history lesson !!!
A link to brush up your history https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathu_La_and_Cho_La_clashes
Interesting. Nontheless tthis article does not say what the USA or Europe or even Russia might have in store to counter china’s efforts to become a top notch leader in military systems. These analyses are calibrated to gauge responses from everyone who has or might have a stake in this business. No one is going to show its hand at this poker game. Its just a tantalizing tidbit and an educated guesstimate.USA Europe Russia and Japan , for their own selfish reasons will make sure China doesn’t get the upper hand all too soon.
Well there is more…China calls Porkistan it’s iron brother…but it seems the big brother china was sitting like a duck when India battered, dissected and battered Porkistan in 1965, 1971 and 1999 respectively…now that was brave on China’s part ..heheheh…not sure what is the definition of Chinese brotherhood…but the world and China did see India’s brotherhood in Doklam incident.
India need to be shredded like cabbage in a super efficient Chinese shredder. Otherwise these shameless people pooping in the open will continue to brag like empty drum.Slimy abhorrent creatures of sludgefull of gutter; that is the title of proud Indians.
Are you looking for "likes" from these pathetic Chinese trolls? I read a small portion of your timeline; thinking, no American thinks like this clown… he has to be an undercover Chinese troll. Guess not though. I saw in aforementioned timeline, many pro-Chinese and anti-American propaganda posts… which explains your admission to your hereditary heart disease. Your heart pumps koolaid, you craven bastard. Go ahead and continue to lick the boots of your Communist heros; you’re disgusting.
China good in copying only. Stolen technologies…
Cute article. It really got the dog eaters’ banging on their keyboards. You pathetic worms can steal all the technology you need… it will not give your neophyte military any experience; hence competence, at waging war.
@Khurshid Alam Mintu: dreaming is not a sin…so keep dreaming…hope your PLA friends will listen to you…not sure how shamefull your country is that u need a "super efficient Chinese shredder"…come on man…although you are bound to loose, but atleast be brave enough to fight your own battles…hehehehe…but then again you are PLAs friend…and cowardice looks like something that you share in common…hhahahah
Thomas Daniel Kuhn today I am seeing the gradual downfall of US and the continuous rise of China…. very happy…..
Get out of Tibet
Modi knew this about the Chinese, that’s why he stood up to Xi and forced China to back down from encroaching on India’s rightful territory.
Good news for China ok
Isn’t it nice to know that the world has become more evenly balanced militarily, especially at the age of uncontrollable Trump? I suppose the only language he knows is physical might, which delicate ladies obviously do not possess, Competition is good, not only in economics.
Chris Greene: Where should you all get out of?
Why can’t we just live peacefully? Live and let live? Focus all our efforts to the betterment of humanity.
will they be successful in the new technology they are pursuing? that is still to be seen. but I wonder how they can succeed when the technology they now have are all copied and stolen? you will have an edge over others if you have superior tech over others. china is rising just lately, I wonder why a newbie seems bent in pursuing military might. sinister ambition…
Thomas Daniel Kuhn, the invisible "rock", you’re a disgusting person. I wish America was more like China, where trash like you would find authorities at your doorstep, then beaten and imprisoned, with years of torture to reeducate.
don’t you think your postings were monitored in America as well? It’s even recorded.
Anubhav Sharma You sucked on that trash you posted, pathetic loser!
@Peter Chan : really ??? that is the best reply you can come up with ??? It means and confirms that you do not have anything logical or factual to counter my comments…hahahahah…
The West will try to launch containment policy rev 01 b because Ref A is meant for Russia and C for Iran while D is For North Corea. However deterance is shifted into a ballance degree.
You almost answered your own question: Because "China stealing and copying" is a usual China bashing and racist statement. See my comment above.
The focused is all concentrated on Chinese techs. It’s not even about Putin’s Mother of all nukes https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a19121693/russia-introduces-two-new-nightmare-missiles/ that nobody is supposed to be able to defend against. I suspect, thus, that Putin’s Mother of All nukes is but a bluff, much like that of Reagan’s Star Wars zappers which scared the craps out ti dumb Gorbachev but later declassified as made in Hollywood joke.
U. S. will soon reveal area 51 weapon/s and flight crafts that will push one world government and peace will reign for another decade..
This analysis seized basic points. And it pointed out Chinese weak point, unintentionally perhaps. Chinese scheme has relied on M&A. It is like depending on ‘technical mercenary’. A mercenary is lack of loyality. In future, the cutting-edge technology taht is developed by Chinese money may be utilized by other nations.
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