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HomeGeopolitical CompassEast AsiaChina’s Sputnik Moment? How Washington Boosted Beijing’s Quest for Tech Dominance

China’s Sputnik Moment? How Washington Boosted Beijing’s Quest for Tech Dominance

Author: Dan Wang

Affiliation: Technology Analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics (Shanghai)

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: July 29, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Opinion Report

Word Count: 1593

Link: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2021-07-29/chinas-sputnik-moment

Keywords: US-China, Artificial Intelligence contest, Beijing, Washington, technological innovation

 

Brief: 

The article expounds the US-China AI contest and its consequences for the world.  The economic effects of Chinese technological dominance on the United States would be no less significant. For the most part, US technology firms have continued a few steps ahead of their Chinese competition. But they might fall back as their sales incline and as Beijing unveils a more powerful drive to replace them. If China comes to dominate semiconductor production in the way it has dominated solar panels, then the US will have lost its last crown jewel in manufacturing as the products become commoditized and profits disappear. At this point, no effort by the US government can deter China from its end goal of industrial self-sufficiency. But Washington can still change the calculus of private Chinese tech companies. Many of these businesses would rather not have to reinvent their tools and find new suppliers and would likely stick with US technologies if given the chance. The US should therefore roll back its most punitive restrictions on the Chinese technology sector, lest it force some of the most innovative companies in the world to work within their domestic tech ecosystem. At stake is the future global center of technological innovation: Washington should know better than to fuel its greatest competitor.

 

By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate

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