While China has become a major economic competitor to the United States, it also has several weaknesses that the US could potentially exploit in global competition. Some of these include:
Dependence on exports: China’s economy is heavily dependent on exports, particularly to the US. This leaves it vulnerable to trade restrictions or tariffs imposed by the US, which could disrupt its economic growth.
Lack of intellectual property protection: China has been criticized for its lack of protection for intellectual property rights, which has led to the widespread piracy of American products and technology. This has been an ongoing issue between China and the US and makes it hard for some US companies to protect their products and technology in China.
Demographic challenges: China’s population is rapidly aging, and the country’s one-child policy has led to a rapidly aging population. This will put strain on China’s labor force and social welfare system, which could hurt its economic growth.
Environmental degradation: China has also been facing serious environmental issues such as air pollution, water pollution and loss of biodiversity, which not only harms the well-being of the people but also makes it hard for China to attract and maintain businesses in the long run.
Dependence on Foreign technology : While China has been investing heavily in research and development and technology, it still heavily depends on technology imports for its growth, particularly in certain advanced industries like semiconductors, making it vulnerable to foreign restrictions.
It’s worth noting that the weaknesses of China are also dynamic and multifaceted, and that the country has been actively trying to address some of the above issues. Additionally, many of these issues are also not unique to China and are faced by other countries as well.
Halting Chinese progress in achieving advanced semiconductor capabilities may may be deemed necessary under the Wassenaar Arrangement.
The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a multilateral export control regime. The arrangement is named after the Dutch city of Wassenaar, where the agreement was first reached in 1996.
The Wassenaar Arrangement’s main goal is to promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, which can have military as well as civilian applications. The arrangement seeks to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems, by controlling the exports of certain goods and technologies that can contribute to the development or production of WMDs.
The arrangement is implemented through national control lists, which outline the specific items that are subject to export controls in each member country. Participating states also exchange information on their export licensing practices and licensing decisions, in order to promote greater consistency in export controls across the participating states.
The Wassenaar Arrangement currently has 42 participating states, including: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.