Communist China is seeking to replace the United States as the world’s economic and technological leader, according to one Congresswoman.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was aiming to undermine and eventually displace the United States as a world power, during a Feb. 1 hearing of the Innovation, Data, and Commerce subcommittee on U.S.-China competition.
“It’s no secret the CCP wants to replace the U.S. as a global economic and technological power,” Rodgers said.
“Whether it’s artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, or smart devices, China wants to dominate these new and emerging technologies.”
Rodgers warned that the CCP, which rules China as a single-party state, had no interest in preserving the key values common to democratic societies, and would use its control over the economy and technology to promote its authoritarian vision for the future.
“China’s vision of the future is not one that welcomes American values, values like freedom of speech, privacy, entrepreneurial enterprise, individual rights, or the rule of law,” Rodgers said.
“The CCP, on the other hand, spies on its citizens and asserts strict government control over businesses and the economy.”
US ‘Falling Behind’
Rodgers said that the United States would need to accelerate its deployment of more open, rights-focused technology standards to counter the CCP’s authoritarian model. To that end, she warned, the United States was already falling behind much of the rest of the developed world in creating national data privacy standards to protect its citizens.
Additionally, she said, the only way the United States could ultimately prevail in the battle with China’s state-directed economy was to unleash the creative and industrial power of the American private sector and remove decades’ worth of regulatory measures that impede U.S. companies’ capacity for innovation.
“The best way to beat China is to spur innovation and remove unnecessary, burdensome regulatory barriers,” Rodgers said. “We cannot, and shouldn’t even try, to beat China at their own game of massive government handouts and centralized industrial policy.”
“Instead, we need to encourage innovation, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship, the backbones of our economy, and that can only be achieved with a government that encourages low barriers to entry for innovative technologies and startups and the adoption of emerging technologies that will improve people’s lives.”
Rodgers is just the latest to sound the alarm over the CCP’s efforts to develop an insular, authoritarian model of technological development.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a security-focused think tank, released a report (pdf) in March of 2022 warning that the global economy was being carved into different “technospheres.”
That report warned that the decoupling of digital innovation, systems, and data flows between Western nations and China, the increased statism of the CCP, and the standardized corporate leadership of the United States were accelerating a break between eastern and western technological models.
Such a break, the report said, would result in the development of distinct and mutually unintelligible technologies.