In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a rocket carrying the world’s first quantum satellite lifts off from northwestern China’s Gansu Province, on Aug. 16, 2016. China’s creation of a quantum satellite system pushes forward its ability to send communications that are impenetrable by hackers. Jin Liwang AP
WASHINGTON U.S. and other Western scientists voice awe, and even alarm, at China’s quickening advances and spending on quantum communications and computing, revolutionary technologies that could give a huge military and commercial advantage to the nation that conquers them.
The concerns echo — although to a lesser degree — the shock in the West six decades ago when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, sparking a space race.
In quick succession, China in recent months has utilized a quantum satellite to transmit ultra-secure data, inaugurated a 1,243-mile quantum link between Shanghai and Beijing, and announced a $10 billion quantum computing center.