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Chinese security threats offer the chance to rethink the U.S. economy.

22 września 2020, 06:14
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Chinese security threats offer the chance to rethink the U.S. economy.

In 2011, then-President Barack Obama attended an intimate dinner in Silicon Valley. At one point, he turned to the man on his left. What would it take, Obama asked Steve Jobs, for Apple to manufacture its iPhones in the United States instead of China? Jobs was unequivocal: “Those jobs aren’t coming back.” Jobs’s prognostication has become almost an article of faith among policymakers and corporate leaders throughout the United States. Yet China’s recent weaponization of supply chains and information networks exposes the grave dangers of the American deindustrialization that Jobs accepted as inevitable.To get more news about chinese industry and management practice, you can visit official website.

Since March alone, China has threatened to withhold medical equipment from the United States and Europe during the coronavirus pandemic; launched the biggest cyberattack against Australia in the country’s history; hacked U.S. firms to acquire secrets related to the coronavirus vaccine; and engaged in massive disinformation campaigns on a global scale. China even hacked the Vatican. These incidents reflect the power China wields through its control of supply chains and information hardware. They show the peril of ceding control of vast swaths of the world’s manufacturing to a regime that builds at home, and exports abroad, a model of governance that is fundamentally in conflict with American values and democracies everywhere. And they pale in comparison to what China will have the capacity to do as its confrontation with the United States sharpens.
In this new cold war, a deindustrialized United States is a disarmed United States—a country that is precariously vulnerable to coercion, espionage, and foreign interference. Preserving American preeminence will require reconstituting a national manufacturing arrangement that is both safe and reliable—particularly in critical high-tech sectors. If the United States is to secure its supply chains and information networks against Chinese attacks, it needs to reindustrialize. The question today is not whether America’s manufacturing jobs can return, but whether America can afford not to bring them back.

America’s superpower might was made on the factory floor. The nation’s vast industrial capacity carried it to victory in World War II and gave it a commanding advantage over the Soviet Union. As recently as the early 2000s, iMacs—a symbol of American high-tech dominance—were still made in Elk Grove, California. But since the 1970s, more than 7 million American manufacturing jobs have evaporated—over a third of the country’s entire manufacturing workforce. In the first decade of the 21st century, more than 66,000 manufacturing facilities closed down or moved overseas. America’s share of the world’s printed circuit board production has dropped 70 percent since 2000; China accounts for around half of global production today. The high-tech industry is hardly exempt: As of 2015, Chinese factories produced 28 percent of the world’s cars, 41 percent of ships, more than 60 percent of TVs, and a staggering 90 percent of the world’s mobile phones. Indeed, Apple’s Elk Grove plant is now an AppleCare call center.
At the same time, a new Silicon Curtain has begun to descend. As FBI Director Christopher Wray recently pointed out, China does not seek a world where its companies lead alongside other global companies but one where its companies exploit a domestic monopoly at home to drive other companies out of business everywhere else. In the energy sector, China’s vast web of state subsidies supporting its domestic solar-electric industry dropped world prices of solar panels by 80 percent between 2008 and 2013. A report by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee echoed this trend in more cutting-edge technologies: “Foreign technology platforms are restricted from operating in China, allowing Chinese platforms that offer similar services to thrive and expand into new markets.” The report also highlighted examples of Chinese “national champions” expanding internationally thanks to unfair government support and subsidies, noting, “Huawei’s price was so low that, absent the subsidies the company had been provided, Huawei would have been unable to even produce the necessary network parts.” Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” initiative outlines in blunt terms China’s ambitions for dominance in artificial intelligence, robotics, aerospace equipment, and biopharmaceuticals—high-tech industries that represent the future of the global economy.


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