To Defeat China, the US Must Focus on These 5 Key Sectors

Commentary In an effort to combat the threat from the Chinese regime, the U.S. National Intelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has prioritized the following five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors, and autonomous systems. According to the most recent NCSC report, these five sectors “produce technologies that may determine whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors in the next few years.” As China continues to employ a range of legal and illegal methods to overtake the United States, immediate action is required. Procrastination is never a virtue, and this is particularly true when it comes to addressing China, the somewhat immovable elephant in the room. The question worth asking, though, is this: Has the NCSC report come five years too late? In all five sectors, as I demonstrate below, China is already ahead. Let’s start with AI: As the report notes, China already possesses “the might, talent, and ambition” to win the AI arms race. Nicolas Chaillan, who left his role as the U.S. Air Force’s first chief software officer in October, certainly agrees. In fact, he goes even further. Chaillan, clearly frustrated by the U.S. military’s lack of digital progress, believes China has already won the AI race. He blamed “stale” technology and bureaucratic red tape for the lack of innovation occurring in the United States. In an interview with Verdict, Michael Orme, senior analyst at GlobalData and a China specialist, echoed Chaillan’s concerns. Orme suggested that Beijing has already “leveraged its wealth of data and the surveillance state to gain AI supremacy.” The two men appear to be correct. Last year, China overtook the United States in AI journal citations. Sure, citations are not the be all and end all, but the scientific pendulum is swinging in Beijing’s direction. If in doubt, let me point you in the direction of quantum technology, an area that China is set to dominate. If China does achieve quantum supremacy, which looks increasingly likely, then the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will have the power to inflict further damage on U.S. national security. Visitors look at AI (artificial intelligence) security cameras with facial recognition technology at the 14th China International Exhibition on Public Safety and Security at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, China, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images) In July 2021, a Chinese research team built the world’s most powerful quantum computer. In this game of high-tech chess, their creation, which surpassed Google’s 2019 creation, gives China the “quantum advantage.” More worryingly, with such advances, China looks set to create the world’s first unhackable internet communications network. Furthermore, according to a report published by Booz Allen, a global leader in cyber solutions, China’s quantum developments will “eventually undermine all popular current public-key encryption methods, and plausibly boost the speed and power of artificial intelligence (AI).” The researchers warned that, by the end of the decade, “Chinese threat groups will likely collect data that enables quantum simulators to discover new economically valuable materials, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.” As the Booz Allen researchers noted, “most of quantum computing’s potential lies more than a decade in the future—but risk management must start now.” The United States, China’s number one enemy, should take note. If you think the CCP-backed cyber attacks are bad now—and they very much are—I have news for you: we ain’t seen nothing yet. The third key sector is biotechnology. As a report published by Insider warned, Chinese biotech companies have quickly become the most powerful in the world. The Chinese biotech industry has a global footprint, stretching from Uganda to the United States. Last August, the Chinese company BeiGene announced plans to build a 42-acre research and development center in New Jersey. Rather alarmingly, according to a New York Times report, the Chinese regime is currently “collecting medical, health and genetic data around the world,” using “the intersection of technology and genetic and biological research as an area of competition and espionage.” China has repeatedly emphasized the importance of biology in future warfare. He Fuchu, a well-respected military medical scientist, has documented the ways in which the Chinese are developing “new brain-control weapons and equipment that interfere with and control human consciousness,” all in the hope of making “unmanned warfare possible.” Think Havana Syndrome on steroids. The fourth key sector involves semiconductors. For the uninitiated, without semiconductors, the use of smartphones, laptops, washing machines, and refrigerators simply wouldn’t be possible. Essentially, semiconductors are the brains of electronic devices. Up until very recently, the United State

To Defeat China, the US Must Focus on These 5 Key Sectors

Commentary

In an effort to combat the threat from the Chinese regime, the U.S. National Intelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has prioritized the following five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors, and autonomous systems.

According to the most recent NCSC report, these five sectors “produce technologies that may determine whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors in the next few years.”

As China continues to employ a range of legal and illegal methods to overtake the United States, immediate action is required. Procrastination is never a virtue, and this is particularly true when it comes to addressing China, the somewhat immovable elephant in the room.

The question worth asking, though, is this: Has the NCSC report come five years too late? In all five sectors, as I demonstrate below, China is already ahead.

Let’s start with AI: As the report notes, China already possesses “the might, talent, and ambition” to win the AI arms race.

Nicolas Chaillan, who left his role as the U.S. Air Force’s first chief software officer in October, certainly agrees. In fact, he goes even further. Chaillan, clearly frustrated by the U.S. military’s lack of digital progress, believes China has already won the AI race. He blamed “stale” technology and bureaucratic red tape for the lack of innovation occurring in the United States.

In an interview with Verdict, Michael Orme, senior analyst at GlobalData and a China specialist, echoed Chaillan’s concerns. Orme suggested that Beijing has already “leveraged its wealth of data and the surveillance state to gain AI supremacy.”

The two men appear to be correct. Last year, China overtook the United States in AI journal citations. Sure, citations are not the be all and end all, but the scientific pendulum is swinging in Beijing’s direction.

If in doubt, let me point you in the direction of quantum technology, an area that China is set to dominate. If China does achieve quantum supremacy, which looks increasingly likely, then the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will have the power to inflict further damage on U.S. national security.

Epoch Times Photo
Visitors look at AI (artificial intelligence) security cameras with facial recognition technology at the 14th China International Exhibition on Public Safety and Security at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, China, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)

In July 2021, a Chinese research team built the world’s most powerful quantum computer. In this game of high-tech chess, their creation, which surpassed Google’s 2019 creation, gives China the “quantum advantage.”

More worryingly, with such advances, China looks set to create the world’s first unhackable internet communications network.

Furthermore, according to a report published by Booz Allen, a global leader in cyber solutions, China’s quantum developments will “eventually undermine all popular current public-key encryption methods, and plausibly boost the speed and power of artificial intelligence (AI).”

The researchers warned that, by the end of the decade, “Chinese threat groups will likely collect data that enables quantum simulators to discover new economically valuable materials, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.”

As the Booz Allen researchers noted, “most of quantum computing’s potential lies more than a decade in the future—but risk management must start now.”

The United States, China’s number one enemy, should take note. If you think the CCP-backed cyber attacks are bad now—and they very much are—I have news for you: we ain’t seen nothing yet.

The third key sector is biotechnology. As a report published by Insider warned, Chinese biotech companies have quickly become the most powerful in the world. The Chinese biotech industry has a global footprint, stretching from Uganda to the United States.

Last August, the Chinese company BeiGene announced plans to build a 42-acre research and development center in New Jersey. Rather alarmingly, according to a New York Times report, the Chinese regime is currently “collecting medical, health and genetic data around the world,” using “the intersection of technology and genetic and biological research as an area of competition and espionage.”

China has repeatedly emphasized the importance of biology in future warfare. He Fuchu, a well-respected military medical scientist, has documented the ways in which the Chinese are developing “new brain-control weapons and equipment that interfere with and control human consciousness,” all in the hope of making “unmanned warfare possible.” Think Havana Syndrome on steroids.

The fourth key sector involves semiconductors. For the uninitiated, without semiconductors, the use of smartphones, laptops, washing machines, and refrigerators simply wouldn’t be possible. Essentially, semiconductors are the brains of electronic devices.

Up until very recently, the United States fully controlled the supply of these “brains.” Today, however, China is on the ascendancy. In 2021, the number of Chinese semiconductor firms tripled. The metaverse, the next step in the evolution of the internet, will rely heavily on semiconductors, hence China’s desire to become a dominant force.

The final sector involves autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars and surveillance drones.

Baidu, China’s equivalent to Google, is leading the self-driving race. Last year, the Chinese company launched the first ever paid, driverless taxi service. In the United States, meanwhile, self-driving vehicles are decades away from becoming a reality.

China also leads the way in the manufacturing and sales of surveillance drones; the United States is one of its biggest customers. If this isn’t worrying enough, China recently created an autonomous weapon that, according to reports, “uses explosives to destroy enemy satellites.” As tensions heat up between China and the United States, one shouldn’t be surprised if American satellites become a primary target.

For any Americans reading this piece, I’m sure it’s difficult to find any positives. All, though, is not lost. China may very well be the geopolitical equivalent of a lone wolf, prowling the geopolitical prairielands, picking off weaker prey. However, the United States is very different. Its leaders recognize that there is strength in numbers.

Epoch Times Photo
(L-R) Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton, Foreign Minister Marise Payne, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pose for a group photograph at the State Department in Washington, on Sept. 16, 2021. The U.S. announced a new alliance with Australia and Britain to strengthen military capabilities in the face of a rising China, with Canberra to get a nuclear submarine fleet and U.S. cruise missiles. (Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As authors at Defense One have noted, AUKUS—a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—“is about much more than submarines.” It is, in fact, “a down payment” on an unwavering commitment by the three countries “to develop advanced technologies and scale up capabilities such as artificial intelligence and other critical areas in which the United States and allies now face strategic competitors such as China.”

The wars of tomorrow will be won by the people with the sharpest minds and the best intel. On its own, America would struggle to contain a rapidly rising China; with its Australian and British allies, however, America now has a significant advantage.

President Joe Biden, to his credit, has also worked to bolster the cyber and AI capabilities of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (more commonly referred to as the Quad), which is a strategic dialogue between the United States, India, Japan, and Australia. Last September, the foursome announced the creation of the Quad Senior Cyber Group.

According to a statement issued by the White House, “the Quad will launch new efforts to bolster critical infrastructure resilience against cyber threats by bringing together the expertise of our nations to drive domestic and international best practices.”

Now, just one question remains, and it’s an important one: Is the Quad capable of countering China? In truth, only time will tell.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the New York Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, and The Spectator US, among others. He covers psychology and social relations, and has a keen interest in social dysfunction and media manipulation.