Special Forum

The ongoing “trade war” between the United States and China is not just a trade dispute in light of the two sides’ intensifying rivalry in the area of strategic technologies. The rivalry has deepened as China has stepped up efforts to overtake western countries in advanced technologies, especially for semiconductors (the silicon brains required to run smartphones), connected cars, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.1 President Xi Jinping’s program known as “Made in China 2025” is based on the subsidization of Chinese firms in those areas and the requirement of foreign companies to provide the key information for their technologies to Chinese partners. The latter part has provoked the United States, whose long-time superior status is based on superb strategic technologies. The ongoing trade dispute is thus another form of a strategic competition between the existing hegemon and a potential hegemon in contemporary international relations.

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