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A prototype C919, China's foray into civilian aviation. Photo: Qilai Shen / Bloomberg / Getty

The U.S. is experiencing a revival of Japan syndrome, harking back to the late 1970s when "Made in Japan" abruptly stopped being a source of mirth, Americans began to snap up Toyotas and Nissans in big numbers, and Detroit sank into a profit-and-jobs bloodbath.

The big picture: Five years ago, American technologists sneered at China's Baidu and its new search engine. But "they aren't laughing anymore," says Gregory Allen, an AI expert at the Center for a New American Security. "Now they are marveling at Baidu's advances in artificial intelligence."

Chinese Big Tech is one dimension of a juggernaut that's collectively terrifying the Trump administration, Silicon Valley and the western foreign policy community.

It's "Made in China 2025," Beijing's three-year old game plan for dominating the 10 biggest technologies of the future, such as AI, robotics and electric cars.

  • Driving the news: In a 215-page investigation released in March, the U.S. Trade Representative cites China 2025 111 times, notes CFR's Lorand Laskai.
  • Where it stands: The Trump administration is pushing China to stop encouraging the theft of U.S. intellectual property. And just this week, the government took action to stop the sale of Huawei telecommunications gear by U.S. carriers, and barred ZTE from buying U.S.-made components.
  • Between the lines: A conviction that, like Japan conquered cars, China may actually manage to pull off its tech ambitions. And not only would it have the most advanced versions of these technologies, but it would effectively block off its market for competition in these leading sectors.

Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, tells Axios that the West is not being alarmist.

"We are right to be concerned... Japan, Germany — anyone who has advanced sectors are concerned about the lack of a level playing field. These are the technologies of the future."

Go deeper

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  4. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

7 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

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