Washington, DC – In the competition with China for preeminence in emerging technology development, the United States has some advantages, but they may not last without concerted effort, CSET Research Fellow Saif M. Khan told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a hearing today.
“The United States and China each have technological advantages, but U.S. advantages may not provide a durable strategic edge,” Khan noted. “We must double down on our international partnerships and openness to the world’s top talent. And we must place a special focus on leadership in certain linchpin technologies such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence.”
Khan made these observations at a hearing entitled, “Advancing Effective U.S. Policy for Strategic Competition with China in the Twenty-First Century.” He was part of a panel that included experts from Stanford University and the Center for a New American Security.
“The technology landscape evolves quickly and unpredictably,” Khan observed. “Where China is behind in a critical domain, it seeks to ‘leapfrog’ ahead by acquiring cutting-edge technologies from abroad and investing in new paradigms that render U.S. and allied advantages obsolete. … To compete with the increasing scale and quality of China’s science and technology efforts, we must double down on our asymmetric advantages.”
These include a network with like-minded allies that, together with the United States, fund more than half of all scientific research and development around the globe, the traditional ability to attract the best and brightest researchers from other countries, and well-developed means of producing the semiconductors that power artificial intelligence and other key technologies. Khan based his conclusions partly on CSET research, including his recent report on the international semiconductor supply chain.
Founded in early 2019, the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University produces data-driven research at the intersection of security and technology, providing nonpartisan analysis to the policy community.
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