US harms itself viewing China’s high tech surge as a threat
Published: Jul 23, 2017 11:08 PM

As its high-tech surges, China has been regarded as a more formidable rival by the US. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Unable to buy US military drones, allies place orders with China" deemed China's drone exports a threat to US interests, claiming it's a strategic and commercial blow to the US that drones exported by China have been seen in some Mideast and African countries, including US allies. China's plan for artificial intelligence (AI) development, which aims to build the country into a major center for AI innovation and a global leader in AI technology and applications by 2030, was interpreted by US media outlets as a challenge to American dominance in the sector.

China has been committed to promoting high-tech development and becoming a science and technology giant in recent years. Vigorous efforts were made to advance development in fields including military technology and AI, and a series of remarkable achievements have been made. However, China's endeavor caused anxieties among some Western countries, especially the US. As the world's high-tech hegemon, the US has kept a wary eye on China's high-tech development. Almost every achievement China has made is interpreted as a challenge or threat to the US. China-US cooperation in the high-tech sector is also on a bumpy road as Washington has set numerous bans on the export of high-tech products to China citing unwarranted national security concerns.

High-tech supremacy is an important pillar of US hegemony and Washington won't easily relinquish it to others. But that doesn't mean it is a justified excuse to block, or suppress, China's high-tech progress. China's high-tech achievements are an inevitable result of the country's economic, technological and military development. They are not strategic designs targeted at a certain country.

Facts have proved that a long-term US blockade on high-tech exports to China has failed to prevent China from making progress and breakthroughs in the high-tech sector, but instead stimulated China's resolute independent innovation. China in 2016 built the world's fastest supercomputer, a monolithic system with 10.65 million computing cores built entirely with Chinese microprocessors. The achievement came just one year after a US government decision to deny China access to Intel's fastest microprocessors.

The US is in fact harming itself by viewing China's high-tech development from a zero-sum mentality and banning exports to China. Its restrictions on high-tech exports to China have worsened its trade imbalance with Beijing. The US has its own advantages in the high-tech sector. It should strengthen cooperation with China and compete with China in an open way, which would be in both countries' interests.

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