Technology is the driving force of the 21st-century global economy. Every dimension of business and commerce is being digitalized, and revolutionary technologies and the innovations they generate are creating the building blocks for new products and services that will dominate the future. Nations are mobilizing to capture their share as the world’s geopolitical titans — the United States and China — know their power rests with their technological prowess.
These countries work to strengthen their technology and innovation capabilities by influencing international economic, scientific, trade, and security institutions and arrangements. In recent years, though, the United States has put shaping the 21st-century economy on the backburner, and China has stepped into the vacuum. China is moving aggressively to assert leadership and shape the direction of global rules and institutions. Just last month, the Director of National Intelligence’s “Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community” report warned that China continues to “undercut [the influence] of the United States…and foster new international norms that favor the authoritarian Chinese system,” including new norms for technology.