By Doug Kelly, CEO, American Edge Project
Imagine being an elected member of the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives.
Over the past two years, you’ve received urgent reports and briefings from all major U.S. agencies in charge of protecting America and its allies. These reports are united in warning about a foreign government’s no-holds-barred strategy to spy on U.S. citizens, steal U.S. intellectual property, supplant the U.S. as a global leader, and advance its authoritarian agenda across the globe.
Additionally, these reports emphasized that technology and innovation gains are central to the success of our adversary’s plans.
Armed with this knowledge, would you then: 1) Work your tail off to boost American innovation and technology to help thwart our adversary’s plans? or 2) Help accelerate our adversary’s success by handcuffing U.S. tech companies, undermining innovation, and giving hostile governments greater access to American data?
This isn’t a hypothetical. Every Member of Congress has received these reports and warnings about China’s plans, which are listed below along with key excerpts. Congress needs to reverse course and support U.S. innovation, not hand over our tech edge.
U.S. Department of State, May 2022: In a speech outlining the Administration’s approach to China, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken asserted that Beijing is “going to great lengths” to increase the world’s dependence on China’s technology as a point of leverage and influence:
- “[China is] home to some of the world’s largest tech companies and it seeks to dominate the technologies and industries of the future.”
- “Beijing wants to put itself at the center of global innovation and manufacturing, increase other countries’ technological dependence, and then use that dependence to impose its foreign policy preferences.”
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), November 2021: In its annual report to Congress on military and security developments involving China, the DOD said China was “at, or near” the lead in many tech and innovation fields:
- China’s strategy aims “by 2049 to match or surpass U.S. global influence and power, displace U.S. alliances and security partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region, and revise the international order to be more advantageous to Beijing’s authoritarian system and national interests.”
- A key driver of this is technology: “The PRC has continued its aggressive, top-level push to master advanced technologies and become a global innovation superpower … The country’s long-term focus on rapid, state-led science and technology development … has positioned the PRC at, or near, the lead of numerous scientific fields…”
Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), April 2021: ODNI’s most recent “Annual Threat Assessment” – summarizing the assessments of 18 different intelligence agencies – stated bluntly that China is a “top threat” to U.S. tech competitiveness and has global tech leadership aspirations by 2030:
- “China will remain the top threat to US technological competitiveness as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) targets key technology sectors and proprietary commercial and military technology from US and allied companies”
- “China has a goal of achieving leadership in various emerging technology fields by 2030. China stands out as the primary strategic competitor to the U.S. because it has a well-resourced and comprehensive strategy to acquire and use technology to advance its national goals”
FBI, July 2020: Director Christopher Wray warned that China was engaged in a “generational fight” to surpass U.S. econ and tech leadership:
- “China – the Chinese Communist Party – believes it is in a generational fight to surpass our country in economic and technological leadership … It’s a threat to our economic security – and by extension, to our national security.”