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The technology war between China and the USA

3 episodes
  • 1
    Indo-Pacific: can trade succeed in preventing war?
  • 2
    Semiconductors at the heart of the China-US rivalry
  • 3
    China and the race for technological supremacy
Épisode 1/3
Richard Robert, Journalist and Author
On March 23rd, 2022
4 mins reading time
Pierre Grosser
Pierre Grosser
Professor of History at Sciences Po Paris

Key takeaways

  • The decentralisation that facilitated Asia-Pacific trade was initially a compromise between the United States and Japan – whose economic power they feared.
  • Since the 1990s, the rise of China raised questions, but their assimilation into the market nonetheless continued.
  • It was around 2007 that, faced with a strong China, America and India became closer giving rise to the “Indo-Pacific”.
  • Over the past ten years, Chinese policy in the region has become more assertive, and the fears that had surrounded the rise of Japan have resurfaced.
  • Recently, this space, which was designed to neutralise (economic) conflict, has once again become a zone of economic, political, and strategic confrontation.
Épisode 2/3
Clément Boulle, Executive director of Polytechnique Insights
On March 23rd, 2022
4 mins reading time
Mathieu Duchatel
Mathieu Duchâtel
Director of the Asia programme at Institut Montaigne

Key takeaways

  • The semiconductor market is worth nearly $600bn and is crucial to sectors such as the automotive and computer industries.
  • There are two factors in the semiconductor crisis: the disruption of supply following the Covid crisis and the Sino-American competition which has brought in Chinese players threatened with access restrictions by the United States.
  • There is a move to support domestic production to mitigate interdependence. Trump has given a golden bridge to Taiwanese TSMC, which is building a huge factory in Arizona.
  • China has leadership ambitions, but it is far from it. It has set a target of producing 75% of its semiconductor needs by 2025 and is currently at 15%.
Épisode 3/3
Richard Robert, Journalist and Author
On March 23rd, 2022
5 mins reading time
Nigel Inkster
Nigel Inkster
Senior Advisor to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and former director of operations and intelligence for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

Key takeaways

  • At the end of the Cultural Revolution, when China began to reform, a large cohort of educated young people who had been sent to the countryside returned to the cities and became entrepreneurs.
  • The Chinese Communist Party then simply let the enterprises flourish before taking over in the so-called “surveillance capitalism” regime.
  • In becoming a technological power, China has set itself the goal of making its technological standards world standards to dominate the field of industry.
  • The United States is therefore facing the rise of China, creating an existential competition between capitalism and communism.

Contributors

Richard Robert

Richard Robert

Journalist and Author

Editor of Telos and author, Richard Robert teaches at Sciences Po. He directed the Paris Innovation Review from 2012 to 2018. Latest books: Le Social et le Politique (dir., with Guy Groux and Martial Foucault), CNRS éditions, 2020, La Valse européenne (with Élie Cohen), Fayard, published in March 2021.

Clément Boulle

Clément Boulle

Executive director of Polytechnique Insights

Clément Boulle is a journalist and entrepreneur. A graduate of École supérieure de journalisme (ESJ) in Lille, he holds an executive MBA from INSEAD. Before joining Polytechnique Insights, he spent six years developing digital marketing company Local Media, an online advertising agency for local advertisers, which he then sold. Early on in his career, he was a journalist and editor-in-chief in the La Dépêche du Midi media group. He also worked for the French Red Cross as a consultant, helping design and develop a social innovation incubator.