Scholars from Huaqiao University explore the implications of generative AI for China’s prosperity and national security, following the launch of ChatGPT. They emphasize the pivotal role leadership in AI research and applications will play in global power distributions going forward, given implications for standards-setting ability, productivity growth, and information control.
This white paper from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a key research institution advising the government on science and technology issues, explores the potential impacts of generative AI. Written before the launch of ChatGPT, the paper focuses on applications around the consumer experience – in terms of e-commerce, film and TV, and news and broadcasting.
Wu Zhaohui, vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology and China’s lead delegate at the 2023 Bletchley AI Summit, delivered a keynote address at a summer 2023 AI conference in Beijing. This news coverage includes highlights of his speech where he suggested ChatGPT will usher in a ‘new industrial revolution,’ and have significant impacts on labor, production, business models, and the global economic landscape more broadly.
A pair of Chinese economists argue that the U.S. will have a difficult time effectively de-risking from China due to a variety of hurdles, including tensions with allies over the speed and scope of strategies, vested U.S. business interests, and partisan debates about China policy within the United States. To limit the scope and impact of U.S. technology and economic policies, they suggest, Beijing should seek to improve diplomatic relations with U.S. allied and partner nations, expand economic ties with developing countries, remain open to diplomatic engagement with Washington, and invest in China’s science and technology ecosystem to address innovation bottlenecks.
Huang Bin, a former defense industry executive, draws lessons for Beijing from the Russia-Ukraine war, which he sees as worth attention due to rising turbulence in China’s security environment. Huang argues China should increase its military spending as a share of GDP, invest in systems that enhance battlefield situational awareness, step up the production of equipment for special operations, improve its military logistics capabilities, and leverage patriotic education to expand its counterespionage network.
A researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences, the PLA’s main research institute, argues that Russia’s performance in the Ukraine war so far has revealed a range of military deficiencies, including relatively limited battlefield situational awareness, underdeveloped automation of weapons systems, and military personnel shortages. That said, the author argues that Moscow has successfully used nuclear deterrence to discourage NATO from direct military intervention.
Wang Wen, a distinguished scholar from Renmin University argues that while internal and particularly external risks to China’s development have undoubtedly grown, the “period of strategic opportunity” heralded formally by Jiang Zemin in 2002 endures. In Wang’s view, Chinese leadership must internalize this belief and proactively communicate it publicly, as “targeted encouragement for the future” that in turn maintains “medium-to-high growth in all fields of society.”
Emphasis added throughout text by editors.