Caixin
Jul 08, 2021 08:53 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

China, U.S. Should Avoid Trying to Monopolize Tech, Kissinger Says

What’s new: Neither China nor the U.S. should seek monopolies in the fields of technology or artificial intelligence (AI), according to Henry Kissinger.

Speaking at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference on Thursday, the former U.S. Secretary of State said (link in Chinese) that Beijing and Washington must maintain dialogue and refrain from seeking hegemony in order to safely develop AI and other cutting-edge technologies.

“When we develop a certain field … we should examine not only its technical implications, but (also) its historic and strategic implications,” said Kissinger, whose secret visit to Mao-era China in 1971 famously laid the groundwork for normalizing U.S.-China ties. He said the development of the field can only be “achieved if both sides agree on some limitations.”

The background: Relations between the world’s two largest economies remain frosty, with both sides frequently clashing over human rights, economic competition and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Washington also views China’s heavy investment in AI and other emerging technologies with suspicion, with President Joe Biden previously namechecking the Asian giant as America’s biggest national security threat and urging the U.S. to outcompete Beijing.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com) and editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)

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