“Mastering the technologies of the future will make the power of tomorrow”

IWe have ten years left to prevent China from becoming the number one technology of the future, says Joe Biden. Xi Jinping replied in substance: you are wrong, in this area as elsewhere, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is capable of performing miracles. The front line goes through the microprocessors. System versus system: who will be the best incubator of the future?

In a document on “national security strategy” of the country, published the day before 20e congress of the PCC, mid-October, the White House presents the ten years to come as “the decisive decade”. “Our priority is to maintain our competitive advantage over China”, says the Biden team. Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics and others: mastering the technologies of the future will make the power of tomorrow. What is true for the economy is also true for the battlefield as the Russian-Ukrainian war shows.

The preponderance on the international scene is played out, very largely, in the “start-up” and laboratories. The politico-strategic weight of the United States, if not incomparable at least determining, indicates the document, depends on its capacity to preserve its technological advance on China. The Chinese do not say anything else – but for themselves. In front of the 20e CCP Congress, Xi Jinping has set the course: to become a “great modern country” by 2035 in order to be “first in the world” in 2049 – for the 100th anniversary of the regime. Beijing has launched the “China 2025” program intended to create national champions in the same sectors as the Americans.

global trade war

The confrontation is not an academic competition. It’s not a race for scientific Nobel prizes, an open competition, it’s a battle for power. “China has the intention, and every day more the capacity, writes the White House, to shape an international order favorable to it. – implied where the influence of the United States would be singularly diminished.

Also read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers “We are probably only halfway through the Xi Jinping years in China”

This episode of the Sino-American confrontation recalls a particular moment of the Cold War in the early 1960s. When the Soviets placed the “Sputnik 1” satellite in orbit in 1957, the United States said they were defied, threatened: we going to be overtaken by the USSR! They create NASA and in turn launch a richly endowed space program.

On Sunday, October 16, as Xi Jinping engaged in a quasi-religious apology for the CCP, the New York Times publishes an investigation into the Biden administration’s policy to stunt China’s technological progress. Under the signature of Ana Swanson and Ed Wong, the newspaper paints the picture of a global trade war. This is a campaign to slow, if not break, the pace at which China is integrating its technological advances into its weapons systems – including hypersonic missiles and stealth craft.

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