China Seeks to Become Global AI Leader, Says Report – USNI News

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The United States leads China in innovative national security technology and industrial power, but Beijing is racing ahead in areas like artificial intelligence, where it believes it could be a global leader over the next decade, the Center’s latest report concludes. for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

While the picture for Washington is quite bright, much of this lead comes from Cold War initiatives such as government-industry relationships that produced the U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, the Atlas ballistic missile and the Polaris launched from a submarine, said Thomas Mahnken, one of the authors.

Mahnken, who serves as chief executive officer of the CSBA, said this close coordination has also led to the rapid development and deployment of these complex systems.

The bright competitive future also includes the United States drawing on the innovations its allies and partners are making in dual-use technologies and technologies directly related to security and military needs, he said.

China lags far behind in this area, according to the report, titled: The Decisive Decade, United States-China Competition in Defense Innovation and Defense Industrial Policy in and beyond the 2020s. But Beijing has made recent efforts, particularly with Russia, to learn from others and not rely on a policy of absorption, to include industrial espionage, in advancing its security technology.

The report adds that China’s Achilles heel in the competition is its do-it-yourself system of government sanctions imposed on industry, while the US system is more open to market forces in fostering worthwhile innovation. The US also maintains a lead in developing technologies that are well suited to the civilian and military sectors, while China’s structural statist bias, the term reported in the reports, is likely to hamper progress.

Tai Ming Cheung, co-author and professor at the University of California, San Diego, said that since the mid-1990s, when the United States sent two aircraft carrier task forces to demonstrate its willingness to defend Taiwan’s self-rule, the Chinese defense establishment concerns the United States [as] the game to beat. He’s had a heavy focus on anti-access/area-ban military spending and is now doubling down on AI.

The Chinese think they have a real chance to lead in this area, he said, adding that this investment hasn’t stopped China from also expanding its traditional military forces, especially its navy.

The United States is still trying to discuss how big the Chinese threat is, even after the US military ends 20 years of counterinsurgency warfare, Cheung said. The report notes that this large time difference in threat perception allowed for this [China] to significantly close the gap with the United States in traditional techno-security areas.

Techno-security is used to describe a wide range of innovations that can be applied to meet national security requirements.

In many of the technology areas linked to the threat, China sets timelines for development, adding a sense of urgency to efforts, according to the report.

On leadership and management going forward, Cheung said reports concluded there was something of a tie. The report said that the US government, industry and decentralized market system have been excellent at evolutionary technology development, but China’s top-down approach can push through high-risk rapid change.

A question related to the success of rapid change is how effective Beijing’s defense industrial base will be at producing high-quality systems in quantity, such as aircraft engines, Mahnken said.

The US tech security system remains better organized and structured than China for long-term tech security competition, but it cannot be complacent and urgently needs to address a number of structural flaws in its system, the report concludes.

Mahnken said the CSBA’s next step is to offer recommendations to address these structural flaws.

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