China and the West are in a race to foster innovation | The Economist
Which will have more success?
China’s government is planning on winning the AI race, winning future wars and winning the future,” warned Todd Young, an American senator, in July. “At stake” in the West’s technological competition with China, echoed a report from American officials and businessmen in September, “is the future of free societies, open markets, democratic government, and a world order rooted in freedom not coercion.” This week the head of a British intelligence agency joined the chorus, urging “deep investments” in new technology to counter China’s growing prowess.
The anxiety is easy to understand. In 2008 China spent a third as much as America did on research and development (r&d) and about half as much as Europe, after adjusting for differences in the cost of living. By 2014 it had surpassed Europe. By 2020 its spending was 85% of America’s.
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