The Chinese Communist Party sees technology innovation as the main battlefield of its industrial policy – and its ultimate weapon for achieving global dominance.
The United States and the Biden Administration needs to confront the reality of what has been called China’s “brute force economics” and abandon the possibility that competing on a level playing field with China’s is possible.
We have to face up to the fact that we are not simply in an economic competition with China. We’re in a war.
Joining the Bill Walton Show to explore this troubling reality is our returning guest: Robert D. Atkinson. Rob is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, one of the world’s top think tanks for science and technology policy.
China’s tactics are not merely an assortment of cutthroat moves made by individual actors. Rather, they are features of Beijing’s long-term strategy and are backed up by the full force of the country’s party-state system, creating a challenge that Washington cannot afford to ignore.
Beijing is intent on employing predatory and mercantilist practices to acquire leadership positions in virtually every emerging and advanced industry that matters.
It’s doing this through market access restrictions, massive industrial subsidies that fuel overcapacity, technology transfer requirements for market access, preferential financing and procurement contracts for domestic firms, intellectual property theft, cyber- and human-enabled espionage, coercion and bullying, forced labor and other poor labor conditions, and other market-distorting policies.
They’ve already established dominance in industries including steel, solar panels, drones, shipbuilding, pharmaceutical ingredients, high-speed rail, and telecommunications equipment; and are making rapid progress in artificial intelligence (AI), aerospace, semiconductors, biotechnology, networking technologies, and electric vehicles and batteries, cloud computing, flat panel displays, advanced materials, autonomous systems, and LiDAR technology.
Fortunately, as Rob explains, there are some straightforward and implementable actions the United States can take to push back against China’s agenda.