Technology: the Main Axis of the Competition Between China and the United States

June 08 , 2021 09:36 AM by CHEN Wenling

[Author] CHEN Wenling

Chief Economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges

Member of Academic Committee at iGCU of Peking University


After the founding of People's Republic of China, it has gone through four stages of economic patterns: from agricultural economy to industrial economy, and then to the middle and later period of industrial economy, and now it is stepping into the era of knowledge economy. Since China is treated as the greatest strategic threat by the world's most powerful country, it faces numerous challenges.

The contemporary volume of China's manufacturing industry is large enough to compare with developed countries in the world. Despite this, there is still a huge gap between the quality of economic development and scientific and technological innovation capacity, especially the original innovation capacity. Now, countries all over the world are launching a series of scientific and technological innovation strategies, and China should not be left behind.

While trade war is the core of Trump's competition with China, the war on technology may be the principal axis of Biden's competition with China. China now faces the international environment where it is cornered by the United States, which is at the forefront of technological innovation and have the most original innovation capabilities. The U.S. rather than being friendly to China, takes an ever increasing containment means in terms of laws, investment, and high-tech.

The main axis of the competition between China and the United States will always be the technological field, be it militarily or economically. Biden Administration is trying to reconstruct the industrial chain and supply chain on the basis of allies and the value chain alliance, to cut off their links with China in the following four areas: semiconductors, drugs, rare earths and high-end high-energy battery. Putting innovation in this context, the challenges facing China are daunting.

Therefore, on the one hand, we must recognize the great achievements China has made; on the other hand, we shall also acknowledge the severe challenges and risks posed by the international community. Our country shall truly place scientific and technological innovation at the core of socialist construction, and make scientific and technological self-reliance and self-improvement as the strategic support for China's development.