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Is there an end to U.S. technological hegemony? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-7-16 09:40:16 |Display all floors
(China Plus) The United States is a world-leading technology superpower that is in a league of its own. Despite recent claims that its dominance in such areas as telecommunication, artificial intelligence, and biomedicine has come under threat from competition, its leading position will remain unchallenged for years to come. Recently, however, the United States took a series of measures to limit economic cooperation with China, under the guise of the current trade dispute. The White House released a report titled "How China's Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World" as it tightened its policies on foreign investment into the United States. It also seeks to contain other countries by limiting access to its core technologies.

[File photo: IC]

The recent actions of the United States comprise of three key aspects typical of technological hegemony.

First, it uses its core technologies to suppress potential competitors and obtain huge profits. For example, American enterprises with ownership of advanced technologies demand high patent fees and create a market monopoly. It even uses its core technologies to impose sanctions on foreign enterprises.

Second, it interferes with market competition by disrupting market stability and undermining or limiting foreign investment using the excuse that it has concerns about its national security. It prevents foreign enterprises from buying American companies that hold the rights to advanced technologies, maintaining strict controls on high tech exports, while also limiting the access of foreign high tech companies to the American market.

Third, it imposes high tariffs on imports of high tech products in an effort to hinder the development of the tech industries of other countries. The recent increase in tariffs on high tech products from China is an example of this.

Over a long period of time, the United States has consistently stayed at the top of the global value chain through its advantages in core technologies. American multinational companies have maintained this advantage even in cases where they have entered into joint ventures and acquired companies outside the United States. If the United States feels that its national security is threatened when its dominance in certain areas of technology faces competition, then what about the national security of the countries that rely heavily on American technology?

Technological hegemony is bound to have serious consequences. It leads to worldwide trade disputes that impose significant costs on global technological progress and international economic development. It may even lead to a reversal in global economic development.

It also disrupts the global value chain. This value chain should ideally develop naturally as countries trade freely on the open market, and each country makes the most of their advantages. By disrupting this highly efficient status quo, the technological hegemony of the United States brings harm to others – but also brings harm to itself.

America's technological hegemony neglects the need of other countries for technological improvement. But, in the long run, trying to prevent other countries from climbing the ladder of technological progress will fail, and the United States is bound to fall into greater isolation in the international arena.

And lastly, the hegemonic behavior of the United States pushes back again the natural progression of technological development and the market economy. The lack of pressure from competitors discourages innovation, eventually leading to a decline in competitiveness.

As the global scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation speed up, the transfer and diffusion of advanced technology is unstoppable. A country that moves to limit and block technological exchange will ultimately end up doing damage to itself.

Economic and technological globalization has brought the countries of the world into a more closely integrated whole. As the trend towards globalization has become irreversible, we should continue to promote cooperation and greater integration of the global value chain. It is a much wiser choice for all nations to jointly promote scientific and technological progress and economic development around the world.
(Hu Zhijian and Chen Baoming are with the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.)

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Post time 2018-7-16 14:18:39 |Display all floors
If China's technology depends on buying foreign ones, then China will always be a follower and beholden to the leader, as it is happening now. To get out of this rut, China must target new technologies that are useful in the future and keep doing that. Over the years, China will then become one of the leaders in technology and not so dependent on others anymore. Learn from ZTE. Even though ZTE has a reprieve for now, it is still being led by the nose and effectively controlled by a foreign country.

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Post time 2018-7-16 14:25:03 |Display all floors
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Post time 2018-7-17 05:55:48 |Display all floors
Technology will simply spread to ALL parts of the world. National boundaries should not stop that.
What's on your mind...

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Post time 2018-7-17 08:56:53 |Display all floors
we should word together to make bright future

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Post time 2018-7-17 09:57:45 |Display all floors
Ted180 Post time: 2018-7-17 05:55
Technology will simply spread to ALL parts of the world. National boundaries should not stop that.

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Post time 2018-7-17 15:44:39 |Display all floors
coralbay Post time: 2018-7-16 14:25
China is doing exactly that now.

If you were to talk to the R&D leaders of technology driven com ...

Breakthrough technologies throughout history would be something like fire, electricity, printing , or something that has never been done or heard of at a point in time but was discovered/invented and changed the life of people in a new way. Fire allowed people to eat cooked meat instead of raw meat; Electricity allowed people to use machines for labour; Printing saves the publisher from writing one word at a time.

If you look at the technological "innovations" of the past decades, most of them are "disruptive" technologies. Facebook, google, twitter, whatsapp, wechat, youtube, ...etc. are offsprings of the internet, not true innovations. Even the upcoming 5G should be considered an upgrade rather than innovations. The semiconductor chips that run the PCs and mobile phones have only gone through upgrades but not life-changing innovations.

What I hope for China is to go beyond all these "upgrades" and come up with some life-changing technology that can help people live better lives.

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