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“America the brains and China the brawn” no longer: The Economist

(People's Daily Online)    16:52, March 23, 2018

Concerns are growing internationally over the future of American tech development, which may be lagging behind due to China’s robust governance model, a recent cover story of The Economist indicated.

The report, published on March 15, suggested that the US is now rattled by the speed of China’s technological development, because the era of “America the brains and China the brawn” does not exist anymore, and that the US should face the challenge instead of hiding behind the door of protectionism.

Eric Schmidt, former chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has warned that China will overtake the US in AI by 2025.

China’s world-class tech giants, Alibaba and Tencent, valued at some $500 billion, rival Facebook. Also, China has the largest online-payments market (led by JD.com), the fastest Tianhe-2 supercomputer, the most lavish quantum-computing research center, and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, all which can compete with their American counterparts, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the report noted that the heatedly-discussed US-China trade war demonstrated America’s shortsighted vision toward the digital battlefield. The US Congress introduced a bill to stop the government from doing business with two Chinese telecoms firms, Huawei and ZTE, because of alleged intellectual property theft by Chinese companies.

“China’s technological rise requires a strategic answer, not a knee-jerk one,” it commented.

According to Eurasia Group, China has surpassed other countries in terms of active internet-connected devices, with 1.02 billion devices. And CB Insights said that the number of well resourced venture capital raised by tech companies in America and China is fairly close, with $97 billion and $89 billion, respectively.

However, with a 42.3% cut of the budget proposal in non-defense discretionary for 2019, the US will be unable to keep up with China. Meanwhile, skilled immigrants are finding it harder to work in America because of the tightening immigration policy.

The Economist noted that both sides would be harmed economically and worse off in terms of national security if US President Donald Trump continues to promote protectionism.

“America is right to worry about China, but for America to turn its back on the things that made it great is no answer,” it concluded. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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