Issue Briefs

Coronavirus Highlights U.S. Strategic Vulnerabilities Spawned By Over-Reliance On China

Coronavirus Highlights U.S. Strategic Vulnerabilities Spawned By Over-Reliance On China.

Loren Thompson

The coronavirus crisis has renewed concern about whether the U.S. has become too dependent on China for manufactured goods, particularly goods with potential defense applications. The most immediate concern is drugs such as antibiotics; even when they are not made in China, the drugs may require active ingredients from China. But that conversation leads to a broader debate about how China has used subsidies and other trade-distorting practices to dominate global markets for everything from aluminum to solar panels to drones. Three particularly important technologies where China is working to achieve a decisive edge are commercial shipbuilding, semiconductors and lithium-ion batteries. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.

Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Adviser at GPI, Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern University.