Since the Trump administration initiated trade wars and talent wars against China and selected some strategic high-tech areas to impose technical embargoes on China, whether or not China and the United States will be “decoupled” has always been a hot topic in China. For this question, first of all, we do not need to deliberately emphasize the seriousness of “decoupling” for China’s social and economic development.
The United States has varying degrees of restrictions on China in a range of science and technology. According to the development of these fields over the past 20 years, as long as China’s strategic line is right, there is no problem that cannot be solved. Secondly, in terms of the relationship between global industrial technology and technological innovation, the “structural” conflict between China and the United States is a high probability. The United States is likely to “weaponize” its technological advantages for a long time, which is hardly eager for Chinese society.
The sincere attitude of cooperation is a shift. In this regard, my point is that we must make long-term preparations to accelerate the inward integration of China’s industrial and technological innovation knowledge production system, and China can continue to actively use globalization to promote open innovation. The global economic system that the United States now dominates is shaped after the Second World War.
The US military and financial dominance provides a guarantee for the global allocation of resources for its multinational corporations. At the same time, the United States also strategically cracked down on its competitors, making profits by creating structural fluctuations in specific regions, specific industries and specific factors, and promoting the acquisition of the advantages of its multinational corporations.
With such a system, the United States has made huge gains in its global allocation of production capital and financial capital, and in part has shifted the basic contradictions in the country. After China’s economic rise through reform and opening up, the United States increasingly sees China as an unprecedentedly strong opponent. Although China is enthusiasticly involved in the US-led global economic system, China’s industrial system and financial system, as a socialist country, showed little global national resilience and social collective consciousness during the post-Cold War era.
This is different from the state that most modern countries have experienced when they experienced the impact of globalization after World War II, that is, the phenomenon that capital and people, capital and regions are even separated from the state to varying degrees. In these modern countries, capital (and social elites) often use their own flexibility to move away from the social foundation that they were originally rooted in and turn to the pursuit of interests.
The profitability of financial capital and the “internationalization” of social elites in various countries are both the product of the US-led global system and the conditions it needs to lead the global system. China’s uniqueness makes it impossible for the United States to completely digest China through its dominant global system, and its financial and military dominance has failed to allow China to submit.
In this context, maintaining the leading position in industrial technology and technological innovation has become a key weapon for the United States to maintain its leading system of multinational corporations. The global production system dominated by multinational corporations is a hierarchical system based on the comparative advantages of technology. System integrators with technological hegemony allocate resources globally through a pyramidal system that gains control over resources, economic units, and economic activities worldwide through funding, technology capital, and management inputs.
Control determines that there is a bottom-up, increasing rate of return distribution within the hierarchy. In the eyes of the American elite, China’s current global technological position changes can also challenge the foundation of the entire US global system. They cannot accept the gradual loss of their technological dominance and the sway of the US-led global system.
At the same time, since the technological advantage has been “weaponized”, then the United States will certainly use it when the weapon is still present and effective, and will not wait until the weapon’s lethality is weakened before putting it into action. In the face of the US weaponization of technological superiority, the fragility of China’s industrial system lies in its outward dependence in the knowledge production system of production, education and research. This kind of outward dependence means that the “industry-study-research collaboration system”, which is regarded as the core by mature and innovative economies, does not exist in many industrial sectors in China.
The industries and scientific research departments in these fields in China use foreign counterparts as the main technology and The source of knowledge, but not the collaboration of domestic production, research and research to achieve knowledge production and reproduction. The lack of inward integration of industry, academia and research has made the Chinese industrial system lack an institutionalized platform for generating basic and original knowledge.
This opens up the possibility for the US to “weaponize” its technological advantages: because although China has achieved tremendous breakthroughs in engineering and manufacturing capabilities, China still lacks the important knowledge to continuously reshape industrial technical norms. Ability. This problem exists in the fields of semiconductors, biopharmaceuticals, and key materials technologies. Closely related to this phenomenon is the ills of “difficult transformation of scientific and technological achievements” in China.
This dilemma is a key shortcoming and major concern for China’s subsequent deepening development. Faced with the threat of US science and technology war, only by establishing an inwardly integrated industrial and technological innovation knowledge production system, can China continue to actively use globalization to promote open innovation. Although this task is very difficult, the times have given us opportunities. First of all, although it has the advantage of the source knowledge production mechanism, the manufacturing base of the United States has continued to decline since the 1980s.
At present, it no longer has a complete industrial system, and there are no active manufacturing activities in many fields. . In the absence of industrial collaboration with China, this status quo will also bring enormous difficulties to the US’s knowledge production in industrial technology and technological innovation.
Of course, the United States can partially replenish the elements needed for its knowledge production by reconfiguring global industrial activities in its confrontation with China, but it also requires huge conversion costs. Secondly, we are at the maturity stage of the information technology paradigm (the second phase of the “technology-economic” long wave), that is, the stage of the application of key general technologies.
This phase focuses on technology diffusion, especially basic technology and engineering technology innovation, compared with scientific discovery and prototype technology, cost-effectiveness is more significant; and the importance of combining basic research and industrial technology research and development is relatively low (of course only now The stage is relatively speaking). This provides a certain amount of time for China to solve internal structural problems in a complex pattern. Third, in the relatively mature technology paradigm, another focus of competition is on the competition for underdeveloped markets, which is currently the largest and under-satisfied monomer market in the world, and the potential of this market has Highly visible. This in turn will also hit the long-term “decoupling” will of American multinationals.
At the same time, even in emerging markets that require in-depth development, namely the “Belt and Road” countries and regions, China has already begun to lay out. These elements can provide China with sufficient strategic depth, so that China has the capital to talk and even talk about the conditions of partial talks.
After all, time is on the side of China compared to the development of the two countries. Of course, even if the strategy is right, China will complete the inward integration of the industrial and technological innovation knowledge production system, and it will be a long road to obtain scientific and technological advantages. We have a long way to go.