Lurking behind the Trump administration's trade conflict with China lies an abiding fear that the United States could be losing its advantage in the global technology race. In US policymaking circles more broadly, China's "Made in China 2025" policy – intended to ensure Chinese dominance in cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI), aeronautics, and other frontier sectors – is viewed not just as an economic challenge, but as a geopolitical threat. Everything from US telecommunications infrastructure and intellectual property to America's military position in East Asia are considered to be at risk. The fact that technology is driving geopolitical tensions runs against the predictions of many scholars and policymakers. As recently as the mid-2000s, some suspected that geography would no longer play a meaningful role in the functioning of global markets.
NEW YORK--China is eroding America's military superiority and conventional deterrence through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in its military strategies, operations, and capabilities, an independent U.S. federal commission warned, adding that the United States needs to step up investment in the technology and apply it to national security missions. China's communist regime has established research and development institutes to advance its military applications of AI. Those institutes are equivalent to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)--a U.S. agency under the Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for military use. Military applications of AI technologies are being developed by Chinese researchers in the areas of "swarming, decision support, and information operations," while the country's defense industry is pursuing the development of "increasingly autonomous weapons systems," an interim report released by The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence said on Nov. 4. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) declared it would be the world leader in AI by 2030, part of its broader strategy to challenge America's military and economic position in Asia, as Beijing also pursues a process of "intelligentization" as a new imperative of its military modernization.
For the first three quarters of 2018, Huawei had a 28% share of the global telecom-equipment market, Nokia had 17% and Ericsson 13.4%, according to research-firm Dell'Oro Group. That compares with market shares in 2017 of 27.1% for Huawei, 16.8% for Nokia and 13.2% for Ericsson. Recently, the U.S. has been urging allies to enact similar bans. Governments and wireless providers in Australia, France, New Zealand and other countries are avoiding Huawei after saying the concerns are legitimate. Huawei says it is employee-owned and has never done espionage or sabotage on behalf of any government.
Bottom Line: China's nationwide pursuit to become the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) is an attempt to not only match U.S. economic power, but to bypass it geo-strategically. While Beijing's involvement is spurred by economic ambitions, it has made it clear that the development of AI will simultaneously be for military applications that could change the character of warfare and place the U.S. at a geopolitical disadvantage.
Washington – The global crisis over the COVID-19 pandemic calls for a global solution, but so far the international community has not shown a strong desire to get on the same page. Instead of formulating a coordinated front in the fight against the coronavirus, world leaders are taking a domestic and unilateral approach and attempting to manage the contagion within their own borders by themselves. U.S. President Donald Trump seems to have been preoccupied with the domestic political and economic aspects of COVID-19, with this year's presidential election seemingly at the top of his mind. As a result, he has not exercised his power as the leader of the free world to call for a united response to COVID-19. Despite the fact that the United States is chairing the Group of Seven leaders' summit, Trump has shown no interest in reaching out to his G7 peers to form a cohesive response to COVID-19.