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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

Page | Last updated: 18 Feb 2020

Shifting balance of power

  • The countries forecasted to have the world's most powerful armies in 2030 are: India, France, Russia, USA, and China (Global Firepower ranking for 2020 military strength shows: USA, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, France, UK). 
  • China is increasingly challenging western military technological superiority and aspires to become a global naval power. In some capability areas--particularly in the air domain--China appears to be reaching near-parity with the West. Its air-to-air weapon systems will be close to parity with similar Western weapons, while one of China’s air-to-air missiles has no Western equivalent.
  • China aims to have fully-modernised armed forces by 2035, and a fully-fledged top-tier military by 2050. 
  • Chinese aims to become world leader in science and innovation by 2050. "Made in China 2025" announced in 2015, outlines China's strategy to become a world leader in a number of high-tech industries, such as robotics, aerospace equipment, medical devices, and more. 
  • China plans to be world leader in AI by 2030. | Related Megatrends: TechnologyGovernance 
  • As China is increasingly a major global arms trader, more actors will be able to procure advanced systems (e.g. Iran). This becomes an emerging threat for deployed Western forces that may confront more advanced military systems, in more places, and operated by a broader range of adversaries.
  • China's and Russia's power and influence to security are seen equal and considered almost at par with that of the USA. | Related Megatrends: Geopower
  • Space as a battle field is maturing and increasing, as China is increasing its space capabilities. | Related Megatrends: TechnologyGeopower
  • China achieved quantum key distribution between China and Austria, opening the possibility to intercontinental quantum-secured communications, but also challenging intelligence gathering. 
    | Related Megatrends: Technology

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