The Morrison government’s pledge to invest $100 million into new defence technologies is a strategic action to combat China’s authoritarian and assertive actions, says ASPI’s Fergus Hanson.

Scott Morrison will use a keynote at the Sydney Dialogue to outlines plans to bolster Australian innovation in nine priority areas including critical minerals, advanced communications, artificial and cyber intelligence and genomic and genetic engineering.

Mr Hanson says it’s a sign technology has now become geo-political.

“A lot of the technology policy we’ve got at the moment is about China because we’re seeing so many authoritarian developments in China and quite assertive actions in all kinds of fields,” he told Sky News Australia.

“So I think technology has definitely become geo-political in lots of areas and so nation states are taking it much more seriously than they have in the past.”

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