Tech Decoupling: How Should China Break Through?

July 03 , 2021 02:25 PM by JIA Qingguo

[Author] JIA Qingguo, Member of the Standing Committee of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Director of the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding (iGCU), Peking University, Professor of the School of International Studies at Peking University


Jia Qingguo offered his insights into the reasons for technology decoupling during the Ninth World Peace Forum, including the trust deficit among countries regarding high-tech development, such as the fear of 5G penetration affecting privacy, and ideological rendering of technical cooperation. According to Jia, technology disconnection will bring wide spillover effects, such as increased R&D costs, reduced academic and people-to-people exchanges, and higher trade barriers. In addition, international cooperation to deal with global challenges, like climate change, pandemic control, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, would become less effective. Nonetheless, Jia believed that decoupling, which would impose tremendous and basically negative impacts on the world order, was not inevitable. "It's the humans that create history to a large extent. It all depends on our choice," Jia stressed. "Decoupling and a closed-door shouldn’t be the option. Only through international cooperation and an open door can we fully reap the benefits of our comparative advantages," Jia concluded.