Conscious decoupling: The technology security dilemma
Published: China Dreams (China Story Yearbook 2019), edited by Jane Golley, Ben Hillman, Linda Jaivin and Sharon Strange, published by ANU Press. Free to download here: http://doi.org/10.22459/CSY.2020.04
10 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2019 Last revised: 24 Apr 2020
Date Written: October 31, 2019
We seek to understand the nature of the national security interests driving "decoupling" between the United States and China, and the conditions under which such interests are perceived — on both sides — as justifying economic sacrifices, especially in the technology realm. Invoking a concept developed by security studies scholarship during the Cold War, we argue that China and the United States are caught in a “technology security dilemma”, in which mutual insecurity felt is driving decoupling efforts (on both sides), and that such a trend is likely to persist over the longer term. We speculate on possible mechanisms through which each side could reassure the other.
Keywords: decoupling; security dilemma; reassurance; United States; China
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