A new report warns that China could soon be able to rule over the US economy and military using cutting edge tech — a sign that the country is increasingly concerned about China's recent leaps in technological advancements.
The report was compiled, notably, by the think tank Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP), which is chaired by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The report concluded that the US will have to catch up with China's advancements in tech or risk not only falling behind, but becoming subservient to China as well.
The tech titan's warnings are not falling on deaf ears. The White House is clearly taking the report's recommendations seriously.
"I don’t need to tell you that advancements in science and technology are poised to define the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century," national security advisor Jake Sullivan said in prepared remarks, responding to the report's release. "They will generate game-changers in health and medicine, food security, and clean energy."
The report identifies three key "technology battlegrounds," including microelectronics, 5G connectivity, and artificial intelligence, which could "represent the next chapter of the industrial revolution."
China is already making major headway in expanding those technologies — which could leave the US behind.
And that could have some disastrous consequences. In the worst case scenario, the report notes, China could take control over rare Earth minerals, which means that "America’s military is crippled, and the nation is plunged into a depression," and "Americans are forced to live in a world where China can turn off the technology tap."
As a result, "the United States and other democracies would become economically dependent, losing their engines of prosperity and freedom of action in the world," the report warns.
In short, the think tank argues that "there is ample reason for concern" about China winning the technology race.
But it's not game over for the US. The country can harness existing industries to build out "an advantage in critical technologies," the report concludes, while also investing to "bring technology hardware manufacturing back to the US."
According to the report, the US will have to act by the end of this decade to make sure China doesn't gain the upper hand — a dire warning, representative of the emergence of a major power struggle between world powers.
What'll actually happen is anyone's guess. After all, China's already staring down the barrel of a precipitous population bomb that could wreak havoc on its economic ambitions. But the stakes, at least, are as clear as they've ever been.
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