Chinese scientists have successfully tested quantum entanglement over unprecedented distances, potentially opening the door to unhackable global communications.

“This demonstrates that global quantum communication is possible and will be achieved in the near future,” according to University of Geneva physicist Nicolas Gisin. “China has taken the leadership in quantum communication.”

Scientific American wrote of the findings which were published on Thursday:

“The test verifies a mysterious and long-held tenet of quantum theory, and firmly establishes China as the frontrunner in a burgeoning ‘quantum space race’ to create a secure, quantum-based global communications network—that is, a potentially unhackable ‘quantum internet’ that would be of immense geopolitical importance. The findings were published Thursday in Science.”