China eyes to be a key player in the IT field, investing intensely in its research and development. (Photo : Getty Images)
Over the recent period, China has swiftly intensified its investments in IT R&D, gaining much advancement in its quantum computing technology, online portal The Next Platform reported.
These efforts are part of the country's plan to establish itself as the top player in the field of technology research, development and innovation, as stated in its five-year plan (2016-2020).
The aggressive move by the Asian giant alarms analysts and experts, noting that the U.S. has now been narrowing its lead over China in terms of information and technology.
They added that in the future, China might gain advantage in almost all fields, including business, military and national security, through its technological innovations.
"The U.S. remains at the forefront of quantum information science, but its lead has slipped considerably as other nations, China in particular, have allocated extensive funding to basic and applied research," John Costello, a senior analyst for cyber and East Asia at Flashpoint and a Cybersecurity Fellow for New America, said in a written statement to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
He further said: "Consequently, Chinese advances in quantum information science have the potential to surpass the United States. Once operationalized, quantum technologies will also have transformative implications for China's national security and economy.
"As the United States has sustained a leading position in the international affairs due in part to its technological, military, and economic preeminence, it is critical to take swift action to reverse this trend and once again place the United States as a frontrunner in emerging technologies like quantum information science."
China's investments in IT R&D are exhibited through the country's different endeavors. Currently, Chinese systems occupy the two top positions in World's Top 500 Fastest Supercomputers.
The world's most populous nation is also investing in exascale computing. It is eyeing to deliver three projects that aim to bring such systems to the market. One of these projects is calling for a prototype that is scheduled to be readied for as early as 2018.
Meanwhile, U.S.'s two exascale-capable systems are expected to be delivered in 2021.
With China's bold move in enhancing its IT R&D, especially in quantum computing, scientists argued that other countries would likely to collaborate with the Asian nation, rather than with the U.S.
"The lack of consistent funding at home, coupled with ample Chinese funding abroad, may persuade researchers to collaborate with China on larger projects or pursue their research in Chinese institutions," Costello said.
The analyst shared that the U.S. Congress should take time to deeply understand quantum computing as well as artificial intelligence. This could help them better assess U.S.'s funding efforts for investments in IT R&D and subsequently push them to coordinate more intensely with related agencies.