Danilin Ivan
Conceptualizing American Strategy in the Technology War Against China: Economy, Geopolitics, Techno-Nationalism. Journal of International Analytics. 2020;11(4):21-38.
Publication Type:

ISSN 2587-8476

DOI 10.46272/2587-8476-2020-11-4-21-38

The paper examines the so-called U.S.-China “tech war” of 2017-2020 in the sphere of cutting-edge digital technologies, its origins, factors, and other aspects, with a focus on the American strategy to limit China’s opportunities for technological development. The purpose of this study is to conceptualise the American tech war strategy and to assess the character and prospects of technology conflicts. The article represents the study with the use of comparative, historical approaches, the elements of systematic economic analysis, and some elements of neorealist and constructivist approaches. Based on the examination of key drivers of the tech war (with regard to the U.S. position), as well as the comparative historical analysis of the observed processes and the instruments implemented to fight for technological leadership, it concludes that technology conflictis a new phenomenon, determined, among other things, by the specifics of digital technologies and economic changes of recent decades, which at the same time preserves natural continuity in relation to the past geopolitical and economic conflicts and existing strategies and tools. Taking into account the peculiarities of the new conflict and digital technologies it deduces that it is possible to describe the U.S. policy in the framework of an adjusted concept of neo-techno nationalism (strengthening national technological potential and sovereignty through global economic instruments). It is noted that in the context of the digital revolution and in the analysis of the clash of superpowers this concept implies that goals are achieved through providing preferential access to such specific development resources as global human capital and big primary data, the formation of systems of standards, etc. In the conclusion, it is highlighted that the U.S. strategy under Trump, which led to a tougher American course in the tech war with China, was determined by objective circumstances as well as by personal traits of the president. In particular, such circumstances include the need to break old ineffective practices to design new solutions and approaches. The author draws a conclusion that in the future the United States will focus on building techno-economic regimes as a more systemic strategy for waging a technology conflict considering adjusted neo-techno national logic.

Keywords: emerging digital technologies | sanctions | USA | China | techno-nationalism |

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