Since the Bureau of Industry and
Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce in 1997 included the China
Academy of Engineering Physics on its Entity List of foreign businesses,
research institutions, government and private organizations, individuals and
other types of legal persons subject to specific license requirements for the
export, reexport and/or transfer (in-country) of specified items, this list has
been steadily growing longer. By July this year, I found 416 Chinese addresses on the
register. There may be more Chinese entities on the list if those with overseas
addresses are included.
When I first started writing about the China-US geopolitical and technological (geo-technological) competition five years ago (my first AsiaGlobal Online piece on the topic appeared in December 2019, with a follow-up
published in September 2020), I could not
understand this idea that Americans had to weaken global supply chains. But
with time and more exchange of ideas with US interlocutors, I gradually came to
understand the feelings and fears of Americans.
In a discussion on Sino-US relations convened
by the Brookings Institution on June 6, 2023, Professor Jennifer Lind of
Dartmouth College described how the US in the 1960s
opposed Japan's efforts to establish the Asia Development Bank (ADB). As the most powerful
country in the world, the US had a hard time accepting the idea of the ADB if
it would not lead it. (A Japanese national has headed the ADB since its
founding.) Fast forward to 2013, when China proposed the creation of the Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank (AIIB), which was launched two years later. The US refused to
join an international financial institution that was shaped by China and is now
led by a Chinese national.
It is meaningless to talk about a Cold
War or differing ideology. The US and China cooperate with countries with
different ideologies all the time. But as Lind argued, even though China and
the US have different opinions, they must maintain cooperation and engagement. The
US cannot act on its own to address global challenges, and China’s rise is a
fact – unstoppable and irreversible. China also needs the US in the important
tasks of developing the Global South, tackling climate change, and indeed facilitating
and managing the rapid development of technology.
Hawks or nationalists on both sides are dedicated to stirring up tensions for their own career gain and desire for influence and power. But this approach lacks foresight. What is needed is humility on both sides to see the mutual benefits that cooperation would bring for them, for the two countries and for the world.