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Nanotechnology and Transnational Governance, the case of China and US

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On my other post, we have discussed the idea of establishing an international nanotechnology arms treaty, aimed at reducing negative impacts of nano arms race. There is another article at GMU which also discusses the transnational governance of nanotech, this time by focusing on China and US. Here's a quote:
Though nanotechnology R&D is currently an effort based largely upon chemistry and materials science, the high priority placed on it in both the United States and China will quickly lead nanotechnology to interact with other fields of study—such as biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science—that could further quicken the pace of both basic research and product development. This convergence of technologies could cause an even greater set of governance challenges than nanotechnology alone, further impacting institutions tasked with the responsibility of managing new technological advances. Since developments in nanotechnology are at the forefront of these potentially radical innovations, the United States and China have the chance to think and operate proactively, and work collectively, toward getting the governance system “right” from the start.

The author signaled that Chinese Nanotechnology will be booming, saying that the Chinese government spent $250 million on nanotechnology in 2005 -- when adjusted for purchasing-power parity -- places China’s nanotechnology investment second only to the United States. He stated that the number of scientific papers on nanotech, pubslihed by China is catching up with the US, and that from 2000 to 2002, "China ranked third behind only the United States and Japan in terms of the number of nanotechnology patents held." Given those tendencies, a coordinated risk-research endeavours would be required.

Well... China, together jointly with US discussing the policies of a general purpose technology that could inverted the world's balance of power? Hmmm...what would you do if you were Chinese?

Oh, read the paper yourself here. And a link to my previous post on Chinese nanotech in comparison with India here.