In today’s volatile political climate, ascertaining the truly important aspects of (frequently dramatized) news stories is a consequential challenge. Within reason, especially in print mediums, American news outlets successfully inform the public on current events. However, as dramatic stories attract more viewers, television news outlets, as well as newspapers and the like, frequently focus on sensational events, sometimes letting equally important, if less exciting issues, fall through the cracks. One of these less sensational issues is the United States’ growing competition with China.
Dr. Robert Sutter, a professor at George Washington University, came to OU early in April to discuss the United States’ growing competition and “whole-of-government pushback” against China. China is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world, currently standing (with respect to GDP) second only to the United States. Many politicians in Washington on both sides of the aisle are concerned about the growth of the Chinese economy and the impact that it could have on America. In particular, China’s influence in technology is enormous, and, according to Dr. Sutter, their goal seems to be becoming the dominant force in technological development in the world.
This desire for dominance is significant on a number of counts. First, the U.S. military is highly reliant on the United States being at the forefront of technological innovation. A Chinese takeover of this arena could, without exaggeration, pose an “existential threat” to the national security of the United States. Second, if the U.S. loses its status as the dominant world economic power, the dynamics of world politics will dramatically shift.
Dr. Sutter concluded by saying that he believed that China poses a greater threat to the United States than virtually any other nation or challenge today. He argued that something needs to be done on this front – but only time will tell if our strategies are effective.