China’s 100 Year Economic Plan and Goal for AI Dominance

Some years ago, when I was overseeing a major customer conference for a client, I had the chance to do a fireside chat with Masayoshi Son, Founder, and CEO of Softbank. He had just purchased Comdex and was beginning to look closer at US companies to expand his business reach.

One of the things he told our audience is that he had a vision for his company and that his vision spanned a 300-year time frame. He had spoken to select media about his 300-year company vision before my interview with him and had already been ridiculed in the media for what was called an “outlandish idea” considering his visionary time span. US businesses have trouble envisioning a three year or five -year plan, let alone crafting a vision for hundreds of years into the future. In fact, the Western Mind has difficulty with envisioning the future and leaves that to science fiction writers instead.

I have been having discussions with people I know who understand the eastern mind and are especially experts on China. They point out that 50-100+ year plans are not unusual for many Asian political leaders, who have grand visions for their countries and start developing very long-range plans as soon as they take office.

One of my China Sources tells me that China’s Belt and Road initiative is a good example of this long-term global planning and explains their strategy to become an economic superpower to rival the US.

Here is how The Center for Strategic Studies explains this important program backed by Chinese President Xi Jinping:

“Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted the leaders of 28 countries and representatives from several other countries at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on May 14-15, 2017. Announced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as One Belt, One Road or OBOR) aims to strengthen China’s connectivity with the world. It combines new and old projects, covers an expansive geographic scope, and includes efforts to strengthen hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, and cultural ties. At present, the plan extends to 65 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $23 trillion and includes some 4.4 billion people.

I encourage you to read this synopsis as it lays out the idea that China wants to be the center of the trading and commerce universe and by building the types of roads and shipping ports linked to these 65 countries, an All Roads lead to China concept and strategy is taking shape. President Xi is driving this program, and along with his One China Policy, and his most recent promotion to the president for life, he is guaranteed that he will be its leader and director for years ahead in trying to make China the dominant economic world power again. And you can bet he is already grooming his successor whose goal will be to continue driving what at least a 100-year strategy is. Chinese insiders believe Chen Minor could be Xi’s successor to carry on this vision when Xi no longer can lead the party.

Xi Jinping Has Quietly Chosen His Own Successor

Another area China wants to dominate is tech and more specifically, Artificial Intelligence. The book that lays this strategy out clearly is Kai Fu Lee’s “AI Super Powers-China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order.”

This is a fascinating read by one of the smartest people I know in tech and who understands Chinese World domination strategy well. As he points out, China is devoting billions of dollars, and thousands of engineers working full time on AI breakthrough technologies and fully expects to be the dominant player in AI even though the US, at least at the moment, is ahead of them in AI research.

China also wants to be a tech powerhouse like the US. When I am in meetings in China, I am always surprised to find how many people in these meetings have doctorates in one of the many computing and engineering fields. Their education system favors math and the sciences and is building a workforce that is highly tech literate. Part of their 100-year goal is to create a tech-driven country that can use tech to advance China’s goals and to minimize their reliance on the US created technology.

While China is methodically plotting to be the economic power of the rest of this century, US companies still mostly plan quarter by quarter. And when laying out future strategies, they are hard-pressed to envision any long-term vision and company directions more than 10 years out.

At the same time, our government is in turmoil with infighting at every branch of government and at best, at any given time, they are laying out a US vision for the future based on presidential four-year terms. Even if a leader has a long-term vision for the country, getting that vision funded and passed by a split congress is difficult if not impossible in the Washington climate of constant bickering and partisan stonewalling.

It’s no wonder that China and Russia continue to try and hack our elections and use social media to sow discontent within every level of politics. By also taking aim at every US citizen, they assure that the US is mostly treading water when it comes to driving a unified long-term vision for America. And it will take a unified America to combat the world dominating economic threat China will pose in the future.

China’s main quest will be in Asia, while Russia has a similar quest for Europe. Next week I will share thoughts gleaned from Russian experts I have talked to about Putin’s similar vision for Europe and how China in the East and Russia/Europe in the west could isolate the US and minimize its economic power in the future.

Published by

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *