(Defense.gov) China aims to transition from producing inexpensive items to high-tech products, Michael Brown, the director of the Defense Innovation Unit said recently.
Brown gave a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington titled “Managing the Risk of Tech Transfer to China.” He explained China’s plan has implications for U.S. defense because national security and economic security are inextricably linked.
“Imagine what the world would look like if China were setting standards in game-changing technologies like hypersonics, quantum sciences, autonomy, artificial intelligence, 5G, genetic engineering and space,” he said, noting that except for hypersonics, they’re all also important for economic prosperity, not just military overmatch.
China’s goal is to be the technology leader in all areas by 2049, Brown said.
Brown offered some suggestions for the United States maintaining its technology lead. The federal government should invest more in research and technology, he said. The United States invests just 0.7% of its gross domestic product on research and development, and half of that goes into health, not military, applications. In the 1960s, total research and development spending was 2% of the nation’s GDP.
Export control reform and cooperation with allies are also necessary to ensure technology isn’t transferred to nations such as China, Brown said.