China Is ‘Building Up Their Capabilities to Eventually Push the US out of That Industry’: Sekora

In this special episode, we continue our series with Michael Sekora, founding director of the Socrates Project within the Reagan White House. In part two, he sheds light on specific examples of how the Socrates Project would tackle challenges, the different approaches between tech-based and finance-based planning, and more.

Sekora noted: “In most cases, what China’s doing is building up their capabilities to eventually push the United States out of that industry, and they take more and more and more. But if you know exactly what China’s technology strategy is, you can play the game to leverage what they have in terms of technology, cheap labor, and whatever without putting them into a position of eventually pushing up, pushing you out of the market … such that you can balance out the cost, you can balance out your near-, mid-, and long-term competitive advantage.”

He added, “So the key is not technology, the key is maneuvering in the technology exploitation. Americans tend to have this idea there’s ‘magical technology’—so if we get the breakthrough in hypervelocity vehicles, we’re going to win the battle … we’re going to be competitive. No. It’s a constant game of maneuvering, it’s a constant game of acquiring, countering, and what have you to maintain that competitive advantage. The competitive advantage can sometimes be big, can sometimes be small. It’s where China, for example, has a national technology strategy to go into technology X. And that technology national technology strategy is being executed by 12 little Chinese companies. Each one of them seems inconsequential. But each one is acquiring a nice little foothold, i.e. a technology isolation offensive, into an industry and into a market, which then they expand, coordinate, and what have you, and then they are a major force. It is a very adroit chess game. But here is the saving grace for the United States and the West: China learned to play that game of technology exploitation chess as a trial and error art, like we talked about, based on serendipity. Socrates does it as a science. That’s how we consistently outmaneuver them, speed, efficiency, and agility.”

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