"China's leaders recognize the strategic potential of quantum science and technology to enhance economic and military dimensions of national power," said a September 2018 report by the Center for a New American Security penned by Elsa B. Kania and John Costello.
And Chinese leaders have backed up their words with funding and manpower, said the report, "Quantum Hegemony? China's Ambitions and the Challenge to U.S. Innovation Leadership." Chinese President Xi Jinping has singled quantum sciences out as one the nation's top technology priorities and wants to leap ahead of the rest of the world by 2030.
"Although China is a relative latecomer to the race, this competition will be a marathon, not a sprint, taking place over decades to come, and Chinese scientists--who are receiving nearly unlimited resources and recently have established a new world record for entangled quantum bits--could catch up in the long term," the report said.
Experts have said the June 2017 test of the Micius quantum-enabled communications satellite should have been seen with the same urgency as when China shot down one of its defunct satellites in 2007.
David Awschalom, director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange and Liew Family professor of molecular engineering, said the experiment made the U.S. government realize it had to "up its game."
The Chinese Academy of Sciences wants to launch a number of micro and nano satellites over the next five years to create a quantum communications infrastructure, Kania said at a CNAS panel discussion on the report. There are reports of advances in quantum radar, quantum imaging for remote sensing and quantum navigation, which can be used for guidance on future missiles, she added. While the United States has programs in stovepipes...