September 19, 2019

US-China Technology Conflict and Lessons from the Peloponnesian War

  • Dr. A.J. Paulraj  Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

    Dr. A.J. Paulraj
    Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

To understand the nature of the technological war which has resulted in economic conflict between the two nations. Prof. Paulraj traced the history of technological developments and its application in military advancements.

Context

The current US-China fight over trade is merely a skirmish in a larger technology war. China seeks global technological superiority as it believes that it has technology that will give it global influence and leadership and not merely military power. On the other hand, US being the current technology and military power feels mortally threatened by China's technological progress. Technological superiority needs long-term focus, this favours China's approach since it tends to think in decades. This is the opposite of the US where policy life span, under President Trump, is sometimes measured in days. US has begun to go after China's technology strengths (e.g.Huawei) through a  variety of penal measures ending 40 years of Sino-American engagement that brought strategic and economic benefits to both sides. Thucydides, a soldier and historian wrote "The History of the Peloponnesian War" (Athens vs Sparta), pointed out that when a rising power challenges a ruling power, war is inevitable. History of the past 2400 years has largely proven Thucydides right. The question now is whether US and China are on a calamitous path.

Experts

Dr. A.J. Paulraj
Dr. A.J. Paulraj
Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

Arogyaswami J. Paulraj is an Emeritus Professor at the Stanford University. He is the inventor and a pioneer of MIMO (Multiple Input Mulitple Output) wireless technology, and the key to all modern wireless networks including 5G. He has authored over 400 research publications, several textbooks and is a co-inventor of 800 US patents. He has also founded three wireless technology companies in the US which were later acquired by Intel, Broadcom and Hewlett Packard Enterprises. His recognitions include the Friendship Award, the highest award of Government of PR China for foreign citizens, US Government National Inventors Hall of Fame, the Marconi Prize and the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal. He is a fellow of several National Academies in Engineering and Sciences in the US, China, India and Sweden. Paulraj served the Indian Navy for 25 years and where he developed ASW Sonar Technology. His recognitions in India include the Padma Bhushan, a third-tier civilian national award.