The New Technology Leader

From the February 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

Many analysts believe Beijing wants to control the technology market worldwide.

Consider the evidence. Last May, China demonstrated how seriously it takes technological dominance when Chinese computer maker Lenovo paid $1.75 billion to purchase the personal computer arm of ibm. The Chinese had already outsold American technology goods in 2004, after its information- and computer-technology exports increased 46 percent—to $180 billion—just that year. Add to all that China’s moves to assign its own standards to technology.

Certainly these developments have serious economic ramifications. What might not be so evident, however, are the military implications of this technological boom.

Rick Fisher, vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington, said that China’s army is “moving very quickly to adopt practically every information-related aspect of military technology that the U.S. is pursuing at this time” (New York Times, Dec. 11, 2005).

The New York Times called the cooperation among the Chinese armaments industry, information technology companies, and government research and development groups a “‘digital triangle’ that supports the country’s rapid military modernization” (ibid.).

A November 2005 report to Congress from the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission said that China’s repositioning itself at the center of the technology supply chain is “raising the prospect of future U.S. dependency on China for certain items critical to the U.S. defense industry as well as vital to continued economic leadership” (ibid.; emphasis ours). Fisher warned that the Chinese have the money to turn their ideas into weapons.

What’s more, on December 12, Alan Paller, the head of a leading security institute, said that efforts to hack U.S. government and industry computers were probably the work of the Chinese military. After explaining that the attacks were traced to the Chinese province of Guangdong, Paller said the attackers “were in and out with no keystroke errors and left no fingerprints, and created a backdoor in less than 30 minutes. How can this be done by anyone other than a military organization?” (China Post, Dec. 14, 2005).

The story here is two-fold.

First, while the U.S. export of information technology is still growing, the leadership position is gone—and it isn’t coming back. In accordance with biblical prophecy, the United States is losing its superpower status in one area after another, continually being overtaken by China and the European Union. Now that the U.S. has been overtaken in technology exports, we can expect its growth to slow and eventually become a bona fide decline.

Second, dependency on any foreign power leaves a country in a weak position militarily. Ezekiel 7:14 talks about a time when the alarm of war will be sounded, but no one goes to battle. This could very likely be a result of mission-critical military systems being compromised by cyberattacks or other foreign-initiated sabotage.

The U.S. is allowing itself to be marginalized by the Chinese economically. Does Washington place enough value on technological leadership to prevent future disasters? Bible prophecy says no.