Speaker: Kaiser Kuo
Founding Member of Tang Dynasty,
China’s First Heavy Metal Band
Co-Host, Sinica Podcast
University of Arizona Alumnus
Against the backdrop of a brewing Cold War, one of the major drivers of American anxiety over China is China’s apparent prowess in technology. The terms of this anxiety are rooted not in low-end manufacturing of steel or in aluminum overcapacity but rather in technology. China’s rise as a tech power challenges one of the sturdier bastions of American exceptionalism – the notion that one cannot be innovative without free flows of information. Reporting on “techno-authoritarianism” – some of it grounded in reality and some of it rather fanciful – conforms to this trend. The Trump Administration’s focus on China’s industrial policy, and especially on “Made in China 2025,” illustrates how much tech has come to be the crux of this new rivalry. This talk will explore the social and cultural matrix in which technology is created and consumed in China and contrast it with its counterpart in the United States, as well as explore what China’s optimistic and often cavalier attitude toward technology means for the U.S.-China relationship.
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