In this Dec 30, 2021 photo, a robot dances to music at the China Science and Technology Museum. (PHOTO / IC)

SYDNEY – China has a "stunning lead" in 37 out of 44 critical and emerging technologies as Western nations lose a global competition for research output, a security think tank said on Thursday after tracking defense, space, energy and biotechnology.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said its study showed that, in some fields, all of the world's top 10 research institutions are based in China.

READ MORE: China unveils plan to promote digital development

Western nations are losing the global technological competition, including the race for scientific and research breakthroughs.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

The study, funded by the United States State Department, found the US was often second-ranked, although it led global research in high-performance computing, quantum computing, small satellites and vaccines.

"Western nations are losing the global technological competition, including the race for scientific and research breakthroughs," the report said, urging greater research investment by governments.

China had established a "stunning lead in high-impact research" under government programs.

The report called for Western nations to collaborate more often to create secure supply chains and "rapidly pursue a strategic critical technology step-up".

ASPI tracked the most-cited scientific papers, which it said are the most likely to result in patents.

ALSO READ: Sci-tech progress gathers speed

"Over the past five years, China generated 48.49 percent of the world's high-impact research papers into advanced aircraft engines, including hypersonics, and it hosts seven of the world's top 10 research institutions," it said.

National talent flows of researchers were also tracked.

China was likely to emerge with a monopoly in 10 fields including synthetic biology, where it produces one-third of all research, as well as electric batteries, 5G, and nano manufacturing.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences ranked first or second in most of the 44 technologies tracked, which spanned defense, space, robotics, energy, the environment, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, advanced materials and quantum technology.