(GQ.uk) China has announced three developments in quantum technology in recent years that should by worrying other nations. This run of advances based on quantum science has the potential to upset the geopolitical balance of power.
The first announcement in June 2017, when the Chinese Academy Of Sciences revealed it had developed a highly sensitive – possibly the world’s most sensitive – magnetometer. This means China is in possession of the longest-range submarine detector ever developed. The second troubling revelation came two months later. The Xinhua state news agency claimed China had sent a test message from a satellite to the earth using unbreakable encryption. In November 2018, China’s leading defence technology company, CETC, revealed a prototype radar that may be able to unmask stealth aircraft in flight.
In 2018, China registered 517 quantum communications and cryptography patents; the US registered 117 and Europe only 31.
The US has, however, woken up to this emerging gulf. In December, it devoted $1.2 billion to double down on quantum research through the National Quantum Initiative Act.