It came without a breaking news alert or presidential tweet, but the technological competition with China entered a new phase last month. Several developments quietly heralded this shift: Cross-border investments between the United States and China plunged to their lowest levels since 2014, with the tech sector suffering the most precipitous drop. U.S. chip giants Intel and AMD abruptly ended or declined to extend important partnerships with Chinese entities. The Department of Commerce halved the number of licenses that let U.S. companies assign Chinese nationals to sensitive technology and engineering projects.
Even as Washington debates the relative merits of decoupling technologically and economically with China, policymakers need to consider that the point may be moot: Decoupling is already in motion. Like the shift of tectonic plates, the move towards a new tech alignment with China increases the potential for sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy and supply chains. To defend America’s technology leadership, policymakers must upgrade their toolkit to ensure that U.S. technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks.
Read the full article in Defense One.
More from CNAS
Comments on Provisions Pertaining to U.S. Investments in Certain National Security Technologies and Products in Countries of Concern
Submitted by: Sarah Bauerle Danzman (Associate Professor, Indiana University Bloomington; Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council), Tim Fist (Fellow, Technology and National Security ...
By Emily Kilcrease, Tim Fist, Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Ngor Luong & Emily Weinstein
Sharper: Economic Statecraft
As competition between the United States and China escalates, and the war in Ukraine continues, countries have embraced new forms of economic statecraft to accomplish key fore...
By Anna Pederson & Charles Horn
The Role of Investment Security in Addressing China’s Pursuit of Defense Technologies
Summary of Testimony Chairman Bartholomew, Vice Chairman Wong, and Commissioners, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony before the Commission.1 A summary of the r...
By Emily Kilcrease
Sharper: The State of AI
The U.S. government's recent chip export controls are the latest salvo in the U.S.–China rivalry in artificial intelligence. Semiconductors are a key input for AI systems and ...
By Anna Pederson