Presentation: Technological Decoupling - How to lose the race for pre-eminence

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<strong>Technological</strong><br />

<strong>Decoupling</strong><br />

<strong>How</strong> <strong>to</strong> <strong>lose</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>race</strong><br />

<strong>for</strong> <strong>pre</strong>-<strong>eminence</strong><br />

Simon Lacey

Five reasons why<br />

it won’t work<br />

01 Too little – <strong>to</strong>o late<br />

02 Only delays <strong>the</strong> inevitable<br />

03<br />

04<br />

05<br />

Cuts US Tech off at <strong>the</strong> knees<br />

More red meat <strong>for</strong> <strong>the</strong> hawks<br />

Cedes <strong>the</strong> moral high ground

01 Too little – <strong>to</strong>o late<br />

Concerns about Chinese ambitions in <strong>the</strong><br />

technology sec<strong>to</strong>r go back decades.<br />

If <strong>the</strong> U.S. and <strong>the</strong> West had got serious about<br />

policing some of China’s more discrimina<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

practices in this area when China’s Indigenous<br />

Innovation policies were launched, it is likely more<br />

could have been achieved <strong>to</strong> keep <strong>the</strong> Chinese<br />

market open <strong>to</strong> Western technology firms.

02<br />

Only delays <strong>the</strong> inevitable<br />

Because technological advancement is incumbent<br />

upon <strong>the</strong> diffusion of knowledge, and because<br />

knowledge flows without regard <strong>to</strong> artificially<br />

erected borders or restrictions, ef<strong>for</strong>ts at<br />

decoupling will only slow but cannot <strong>pre</strong>vent<br />

China from mastering <strong>the</strong>se technologies.

03<br />

Cuts U.S. Tech off at <strong>the</strong> knees<br />

China is extremely important <strong>to</strong> U.S. technology<br />

companies both as a market, a manufacturing<br />

location and a place <strong>to</strong> do cutting-edge R&D. China<br />

also has <strong>the</strong> biggest pools of data, and data is<br />

critical <strong>for</strong> all kinds of technologies from IoT <strong>to</strong> AI.

04<br />

More red meat <strong>for</strong> <strong>the</strong> hawks<br />

Calls <strong>for</strong> technological decoupling feed China’s<br />

fears that <strong>the</strong> West wishes it <strong>to</strong> remain weak and<br />

backward and in doing so just streng<strong>the</strong>ns antire<strong>for</strong>mers<br />

and those that encourage greater<br />

confrontation with <strong>the</strong> West. By <strong>the</strong> same <strong>to</strong>ken, it<br />

streng<strong>the</strong>ns <strong>the</strong> Hawks and o<strong>the</strong>r elements in <strong>the</strong><br />

U.S. seeking a military solution <strong>to</strong> what is<br />

essentially a political and economic challenge.

05<br />

Cedes <strong>the</strong> moral high ground<br />

If <strong>the</strong> goal of technological decoupling is <strong>to</strong> hobble<br />

a potential competi<strong>to</strong>r and contain China <strong>for</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

sake of maintaining U.S. hegemony <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> U.S.<br />

has already ceded <strong>the</strong> moral high ground.

Keep in <strong>to</strong>uch …<br />

Simon<br />

Lacey<br />

Disclaimer<br />

Views ex<strong>pre</strong>ssed are those of <strong>the</strong> author and in no way reflect <strong>the</strong> official positions of<br />

ei<strong>the</strong>r Trends Research and Advisory or <strong>the</strong> University of Adelaide

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