02/01/2022, 17.38
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Beijing risks losing tech war with Washington

by Li Qiang

A report published by Peking University notes that the United States is still ahead in artificial intelligence, information technology and the aerospace technology. Decoupling brings disadvantages to both sides, but more to China. So far, Xi Jinping has not responded to the US boycott of Chinese hi-tech giants.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – China risks losing the tech war with the United States, this according to a report by Peking University’ Institute of International and Strategic Studies.

Released on Sunday, the paper notes that China lags behind the US in strategic hi-tech sectors, such as artificial intelligence, information technology and aerospace.

The technological “decoupling” launched by Donald Trump and confirmed by his successor Joe Biden will cost both sides. However, according to Chinese academics, it will be more damaging to China than the United States.

Hi-tech decoupling is now a de facto reality in key technologies, especially artificial intelligence and microchip production. Low-tech industries have been spared so far.

The row over hi-tech is an integral part of the geopolitical conflict between the two powers. The United States does not want China to use US knowhow to become a technological powerhouse.

Peking University experts also note the US has succeeded in creating a “technological alliance of democracies” to isolate China.

Because of this “cartel”, China has problems importing key parts and technologies for high-tech industries, as well as attracting talent from abroad or getting its own young people trained in the United States.

That Beijing is in trouble is evinced by its weak response to US punitive measures against Chinese tech giants.

This is the case when the Trump administration formally designated Huawei as a “threat to national security” in June 2020. Since then, the Chinese company has not been able to sell its products in the US, and cannot do business with US companies.

In addition, Washington has introduced a sanction regime for foreign companies that sell technology, notably microchips, to banned Chinese companies.

The same thing happened last week with another Chinese hi-tech giant. Citing the threat of espionage, the US Federal Communications Commission decided to block the activities of China Unicom national security.

In October, the same ban hit China Telecom, without provoking any real response (retaliation) from Beijing.

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