Nov 18, 2019

The threat of a U.S.-China "tech Cold War"

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, warned at the consulting firm's annual GZERO Summit in Tokyo Monday that a rising "tech Cold War" between China and the West poses "the greatest threat to globalization since the end of World War II."

What he's saying: "Beijing is building a separate system of Chinese technology — its own standards, infrastructure, and supply chains — to compete with the West," Bremmer said. "Make no mistake: This is the single most consequential geopolitical decision taken in the last three decades."

Bremmer says these "parallel technology systems" are more worrisome than China's military threat, which is "smaller than many in Washington believe":

China has even less interest in going to war with the U.S. than the U.S. has in going to war with China. China is a regional, but not a global, military power. ...
The greatest source of U.S.-China conflict comes from technology. Here, China is, today, a true superpower. Here, the U.S. does have an interest in seeing China fail, because China's technological development poses a foundational challenge to the values on which global stability and prosperity depend.

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Protesters gather at Hennepin County Government Plaza on Thursday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died shortly after a police encounter in Minneapolis, are ongoing as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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