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NPF webinar | The emerging techno-nationalism


Published 10 June 2020

The third briefing in a webinar series by the National Press Foundation was titled “Techno-Nationalism: Covering the US-China Battle for Technological and Geopolitical Dominance". Our Research Fellow Alex Capri, author of a series of Hinrich Foundation papers on techno-nationalism and the US-China tech war, was a featured speaker.

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Against the backdrop of deteriorating US-China relations, experts Zoomed in from Singapore and Washington for this briefing to explore the rise of techno-nationalism – the move to link innovation in the tech sector to economic prosperity, social stability and national security.

For semiconductor giants, China represents a massive market: the world’s largest country and an industrial giant, but far behind in manufacturing its own semiconductors.

For the Trump administration and many allies in Congress, China’s strategic goal of becoming the world leader in semiconductor technology represents a pressing threat. They fear advanced US technology will be stolen or surpassed and that China will develop a stranglehold on the chips that power every modern technology. Beijing, in turn, feels it must de-Americanize its economy and develop technological independence so as not to be at the mercy of Washington’s whims.

In this briefing for the National Press Foundation, three speakers defined and detailed the move towards techno-nationalism – a trend that was accelerating before COVID-19 and is now being amplified by it. Decoupling and restructuring supply chains away from China are the likely result. Speakers included: