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Monday
Sep112017

POLITICS (National, International/China): Science, technology, economic growth -- U.S.? China?: Report/analysis, "Is China leaping past us?" ....  

* POLITICO (The Agenda - Daniel Kliman, Harry Kresja):  "Is China leaping past us?" - "With little notice in Washington, Beijing has quietly become an innovative superpower. How should the U.S. respond?" - From POLITICO:

Sixty years ago this fall, the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching into orbit Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. The beach ball-sized spacecraft was an astounding scientific achievement, one previously thought beyond the reach of Moscow. As Sputnik circled the globe and emitted radio signals detectable by anyone with a short-wave receiver, the American public experienced a crisis of confidence over their country’s standing in the world and its Cold War competitiveness.

We know the rest of the story. American scientists and policymakers were shaken out of the complacent assumption that their technological edge was insurmountable. American government, universities, and industry mobilized for a competition of scientific innovation – and won.

In recent months, China has quietly given the United States a series of new “Sputnik Moments”—not as dramatic as a radio beacon from overhead, but just as significant as a challenge to American technological leadership. And as U.S. debates have focused on trade deficits and recovering manufacturing jobs, Beijing has achieved the scientific and technological feats that herald its arrival as an innovation superpower. These “Sputnik Moments” extend across multiple industries, from communications technology to renewable energy. Collectively, they pose a risk to America’s future economic dynamism, as well as its military superiority.

This August, China successfully tested the world’s first quantum satellite communication – relying on the physics of quantum entanglement to send and receive provably secure messages. While the United States faces a regulatory morass around the world-shaking potential of CRISPR gene editing technologies, China last year announced seven human trials to treat cancer and other ailments. As coal finds itself again at the center of the American energy policy debate, China’s photovoltaic capacity has surged. In just the first six months of 2017, China added new solar energy generation capacity equal to half of the United States’ entire installed solar base at the end of 2016.

These largely overlooked “Sputnik Moments” have thus far failed to galvanize a U.S. response. In fact, they underscore the need for action to sustain America’s innovation edge. Improving the quality of the U.S. education system and ensuring sufficient government funding for long-term research and development is essential, but will only succeed if the United States simultaneously addresses China’s sweeping and ambitious effort to acquire U.S. technology ....................