back to article United States' plan to beat China includes dominating tech standards groups – especially for 5G

America's plan to compete with China includes a call for the land of the free to dominate tech standards bodies, especially for 5G, and to appoint an ambassador level official to lead a new “Technology Partnership Office” that Washington will use to drive tech collaboration among like-minded nations. Released last Thursday by …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Intel announce

    Their new American 0.0002 thou fab

  2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Joke

    an annual budget of US$100m each fiscal year

    US$100 per year equates to US$8m PER MONTH.

    That is a lot of hookers-and-blow!

    Where do I sign up for this?

  3. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Angel

    Go Home Yanks

    I dunno, if the world is ready for supreme overlords with supranational powers over all mankind, eclipsing our petty differences of country or rank; wouldn't it be better to select, once and for all time, some really tiny country, with no vast forces able to destroy every other nation 1,000,000 times over or vast inordinate greed at sucking up all the world's resources just of of sheer unimaginative want and pure idiotic idealism ( 'we can always find a solution later' ), and no tremendous wealth of its own financial system to distort its thinking ?

    .

    .

    ...of policy aimed at “ensuring the United States is postured to compete with China for decades to come,”

    I read that as 'posturing'.

  4. pip25
    Devil

    I love it how they use "compete" as a code word

    Well, no, actually I hate it, but at least it's smart.

    1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

      Re: I love it how they use "compete" as a code word

      To compete, the competitors at the very least should understand they are competing and that there are usually rules, and a point where a winner is declared.

      We saw it with PNAC, I don’t think any of the muppet countries are much different in their pathetic warlike aspirations, I just wish these cunts in power, to be forced to live in a gutter for a year.

      Those stupid aspirations of conflict will just disappear...

      1. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: I love it how they use "compete" as a code word

        I suspect living in a gutter won’t curtail these people’s ambitions to line their own pockets by sucking up where needed and stamping out their competitors.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's face it the west is in decline and the new global superpower is China.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Hubris is as hubris does.

      Let's face it the west is in decline and the new global superpower is China. .... osakajin

      New global superpowers are surely much more SMARTR AIdVentures with JOINT Far Eastern and Sino-Soviet Enterprises, for let's face it, the West is in decline because it declines to both recognise and accept such progress and overwhelming competition can exist and prosper without its engagement and self-serving lead, and such an intelligence block has them imagining opposition and self-defeating conflict a valid and viable response. That is madness to a crazy extreme.

      Or the West appears to be blighted with severe learning difficulties if you don't want to call a spade a spade.

      J'accuse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My plans aren't as lofty.

      I've decided to just learn Mandarin.

      So that maybe I'll be treated less poorly when the takeover happens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        同志们好!

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Sadly I can't even learn Martian.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes. But why is this?

      Simply put, our glorious leaders decided that it made sense to outsource production of *everything* to China because the wages were cheaper than in our countries and they didn't have any environmental regulations etc that added costs.

      Factories were duly relocated to China, and a few tends of thousands of people made unbelievably massive fortunes as western countries went out of business left right and centre trying to compete with companies who had lower material costs, no environmental compliance costs and lower wages and who worked a hundred hours a week in return for not getting beaten with sticks.

      Two or three decades later, most of our manufacturing base has gone and all of the low, medium and high wage jobs that those industries supported which means that there frankly aren't that many decent jobs going and there are an awful lot of people fighting over the ones that remain. The lack of disposable income through high living costs means that most people can't afford to buy goods which hurts western economies.

      China is not really much of a global superpower and one easy giveaway for this is the number of refugees who flee to the west vs China; in 2016 they allowed 1576 immigrants into their country; 750 times less immigrants than the US had despite the USA's position deteriorating. Far more people wish to emigrate from China than immigrate to live under their political system.

      There are traditionally three parts to power, economic power. On paper China appears formidable, however should they get involved in any serious hostilities with any western country then everybody is going to cut them off which would instantly gut their economy and cause an instant economic boom in the west which dictates that China cannot annoy us too much, let alone go to war with any part of the anglosphere.

      In terms of "soft power" China is a bit of a midget, with most of their power in this regard coming from loans made to African nations in return for them signing away their resources to China which are needed for their exports to the west. They are largely diplomatically isolated.

      In terms of "hard power" their military is certainly capable of protecting China against an invasion simply due to sheer size, but truthfully most of it appears more structured and trained for suppressing internal dissent rather than fighting battles. They have very limited ability to project military power beyond their own borders so when they try and project power they do things like building artificial islands in peacetime and then build large fixed military bases on; which simply unites all of their neighbours against them and provides large targets for massed cruise missile strikes.

      China also sucks horribly at scientific research due to the whole authoritarian communist thing which inhibits free thought, which impacts on scientific discovery and therefore R&D, although they are most efficient at stealing IP from the west to make up for this deficiency.

      So yes, China is a far more serious and efficient competitor than the Soviet Union, but hardly as big a threat as some people make out by looking at all of their advantages and ignoring their disadvantages.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Thank you, A/C for a balanced post on why China is not the huge scary danger some of our overlords would like to make them.

      2. tip pc Silver badge

        I was with you until you tried to justify that they where not as smart as the US.

        “ They have very limited ability to project military power beyond their own borders so when they try and project power they do things like building artificial islands in peacetime and then build large fixed military bases on; which simply unites all of their neighbours against them and provides large targets for massed cruise missile strikes.”

        So they have limited ability to project but can build islands to put military bases on.

        They also have an aircraft carrier, nuclear bombs, a space program, cyber capabilities, financial and looks like a program to build biological weapons.

        They may not

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pouring sand you've dug from one place onto another bit of shallow ground to make an artificial island was first done during the Napoleonic wars 200 years ago simultaneously with the advent of steam dredging. In the same war, a bloody huge chunk of rock was commissioned as a warship. (see HM Sloop Diamond Rock)

          The problem is that when the opposition gets fed up with it then the island can't run away, it can annoy it's attackers but ultimately they can be trivially starved out. Diamond Rock fell because they ran out of food, water and ammunition and surrendered because they couldn't be resupplied because an enemy force was sitting on top of the place.

          Things have changed since, we now have both aircraft and submarines. Neither gives an advantage for an island base. We have an advantage in both areas. We can easily shoot down transport aircraft or sink supply ships. Therefore, the islands are probably not as much of a threat as you might think. They also have a conspicuous lack of ability to move in order to do anything useful, unlike aircraft carriers.

          Nuclear weapons aren't weapons of war, but those of politics. China also only has a token set of weapons like the UK for basically the same reasons; enough to be credible as a "nuke me and i'll nuke you back" deterrent but not enough that they actually war fighting weapons.

          Yep, they have a space program. Wake me up when they start deploying lasers in orbit or something.

          Cyber capabilities are more serious in that they could do a lot more damage to us via attacking vulnerable infrastructure and companies electronically than they could possibly do by any other method. The good news is that if they did, pretty much everybody reading this would be immediately rich if you know how to use data recovery tools for doing some consulting for incompetent companies that need to be back up and running.

    4. rcxb Silver badge

      the west is in decline and the new global superpower is China.

      A few decades ago, the West was in decline, and the new global superpower was Japan.

      Decades before that, the West was in decline, and the new global superpower was the USSR.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many 5G patents are owned by a motley bunch

    and a good number are just patent trolls.

    There is almost nothing that the US Gubbermint can do to stop China (or their representatives) from buying a few dozen of the NPE's (lawyers mostly) and holding the world to ransom.

    Those companies (many based in East and West Texas because of their corrupt judiciary) are often one lawyer and a dog in an office somewhere like Waco. They exist just to sue other companies for patent violation. They are not really interested in licensing although they have to say that. Those scumbag lawyers get off on taking big companies to court in a place where their friends are the majority the jury and the judge is a pal from the country club.

    I was in East Texas in 2016 and out of interest, I spent an afternoon at one of these courts. Talk about bought juries... Even as a layman, I could see how bent it was.

    Hundreds of millions of $$$$ are at stake in places like this and there is nothing Washington DC or its TLA's can do to stop the Chinese from buying out the NPE's and blocking 5G deployments worldwide.

    NPE == Non Producing Entity. i.e. a firm of lawyers who own the patents just so that they can litigate.

    1. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Many 5G patents are owned by a motley bunch

      There is almost nothing that the US Gubbermint can do to stop China (or their representatives) from buying a few dozen of the NPE's (lawyers mostly) and holding the world to ransom.

      Yours is a very strange suggestion, as:

      1) It is the government that makes those patent laws in the first place, and which can make exceptions or rewrite the law wholesale when it stops suiting their interests.

      2) If government representatives get on the boards of standards bodies as intended, they can start to introduce some anti-patent-troll rules, steering standardized technologies away from problematic/riskier methods.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds just like the UK Government

    Saying you want to become a world leader and regulation setter in a particular tech area does not make it so, it requires the skills, efficient technology people trust, and reliability to succeed.

    The UK government also excels at these kind of empty promises, every year someone in Government blurts out the UK will become a major force in AI etc. but without commitment, finance and the base expertise it's not going to happen.

    China has left a long slumber caused by some of the policies of the revolution post war and is now resuming it's place in the world as a major economic force, it has a young well educated population, and thanks to outsourcing of tech development by Western companies, it now has commercial clusters of companies experienced with new technology and development, and experienced technical staff to carry it through.

    The US can create all the standards it wants, if the rest of the world looks at them and says "nah, this other standard is better" then what's the point?

    The US has in recent history been left as the sole major user of certain mobile protocols, while the rest of the world went GSM.

    Politicians in the West need to learn there is a difference between fantasy and reality, they need to support home grown tech, educate everyone properly and provide incentives for tech companies to develop at home rather than letting the market go to the cheapest country able to provide a product or service.

    America emerged from WW2 with a major commercial advantage having industry and infrastructure intact after the war ravaged most developed nations industries, hence why the 1950's - 60's are looked back on so fondly as boom years, but it was given away in later years by companies doing what companies always do which is to look for the cheapest production facilities available.

    It gives me no pleasure to say this, but if China rules the tech roost in coming years as seems likely, US and other Western tech companies and governments have only themselves to blame.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Sounds just like the UK Government

      And, when reading "It is the sense of Congress that the United States must lead in international standard-setting bodies", it's as well to remember that the said bodies (including, by the way, ones that originated in the USA) are very carefully designed to avoid individual countries or companies having undue influence. So the "sense of Congress" is actually nonsense.

  8. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Plan [...] includes dominating tech standards groups"

    Politicisation has never improved standards - quite the reverse.

    NIST has to date proved an excellent standards body, primarily because its output is based on objective expertise. On the other hand two successive federal "cyber security initiatives" I've participated in (driven by presidential executive orders under Bush and Obama) yielded absolutely bugger all concrete results, despite in the latter case being overseen by NIST. Inevitably the politics dominated both exercises, reducing them to opinion seeking from the self selected, followed by generation of official reports, stuffed with generalisations of the bleeding obvious, that were shelved by the readership in short order.

    What's really needed (and desperately needed) is for everyone to work together towards whatever the common objective is, not to encourage competition among participants. Unfortunately, politics is still dominated by conflict. We should have learned in the almost 2M years we've been around that it doesn't work, but apparently we haven't.

    1. NonSSL-Login
      Stop

      Re: "Plan [...] includes dominating tech standards groups"

      We already know what happens when the US influences tech standards groups....naff security that the NSA can abuse for mass survelliance.

      No thanks to more of that.

  9. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Hmm ...

    "The nice thing about standards is that there is so many of them."

    I suspect the only effect of this initiative will be that some manufacturers will state that their kit is compatible with all the 5G standards.

    The list might even include the new US ones, if they feel there is a market for them.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "the draft Strategic Competition Act of 2021"

    Typical US hypocrisy. Government intervention is anathema when it concerns living standards, justice, getting companies to pay their taxes, but when there are handouts and bold statements to be made, then it's fine.

    Look, either the market regulates itself, or it doesn't. You can't have it both ways.

    If the golden rule of Capitalism is to be respected, it's up to Cisco to be competitive, not the US Government.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the draft Strategic Competition Act of 2021"

      Somewhat ironic that capitalism allowed communism to win by outsourcing manufacturing to China.

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Something to aid/protect/prevent camp followers and Flash Harry Limelighters causing themselves harm

    The one certain thing about rules and regulations and standards is leaders don't abide with them as they forge ahead pioneering somewhere else virgin and foreign and alien.

    Such is perfectly natural considering their thinkings and actions.

  12. druck Silver badge

    They did it before, and they'll do it again

    The US, or rather Microsoft, did it before in 2008 when they packed out ISO and IEC committees to get "works like word 95" Open Office XML declared as a standard, to compete with that gawdamn commie ODF from Open/Libre office.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco are doing their bit to cut down on imports from China.

    While a lot of the kit is still being manufactured by the likes of Foxconn in China, those expensive 6ft yellow generic RJ45 cables are now being made in India

  14. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Celebrities are the answer

    What was the question?

    Oh yeah. That was it

    In China, teachers are viewed as superstars, or at least that was the image conveyed to me

    In ahem... “my”....ahem, sorry, trying to keep a straight face. In “my” country where nobody really has a fixed abode, they view teachers as a steaming turd that got stuck to their Childs shoe. Most of the time, daddy aint around, daddy donated and mummy kicked him out, now we’re all payin...

    Maybe we can get Joey Essex to become a teacher. LMFAO

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Celebrities are the answer

      Good film on Netflix (Produced by the Obama's I believe) : American Factory - which shows a former GM car plant in the rust belt being re-opened as a car windscreen/windshield plant by a Chinese company.

      Was illuminating seeing slim young Chinese guys trying to train middle aged overweight American guys to do what they do, "they have fat fingers", "they are soo slow!" were comments on the Chinese side, while the Americans were complaining they are earning half what they used to, and the Chinese staff were only taking Sunday's off and working 12 hour days as standard as opposed to their 8 hour days, plus pretty much turning a blind eye to safety.

      Valid points on both sides but I couldn't help thinking of the third Rocky movie where Rocky. doesn't keep up to fitness and gets his arse kicked by the young Mr T , I think the subtext was the other guy was hungry for the title whereas Rocky had got soft because of success..

      There is no doubt from what I've seen Chinese people are hungry for success and will do what it takes to get it.

      1. rcxb Silver badge

        Re: Celebrities are the answer

        But it has never been working harder/faster/longer/cheaper that put the US on top. It's typically been that US workers find ways to continually make their own jobs more efficient, instead of continuing to do everything the hard way. That kind of individual free-thinking isn't as a common or as strong of a trait in labourers from oppressive totalitarian nations.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only in the US ..

    .. would they consider "dominating" the equivalent of "competing".

    Not impressed.

  16. tip pc Silver badge

    Outsourced

    How does that work when all your tech expertise is outsourced?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First stage....

    Would be for americans to understand the word "international", specifically how it relates to "standards". ie. A standard that suits and can be adopted by many countries and deployments, not just what suits their own culture, policies, history, etc.

    Second stage would be to join and adopt other existing international standards, all of which were created for good reason.

    As part of the second stage, using sensible units of measurement, and things like fitting standard sized screws to their existing kit would be a great step forward in having their products more internationally accepted.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great! Sounds like the lobbyists and politicians are set to go. Now all that's needed is to outsource a few engineering contracts overseas. .

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