Technology is now the defining element of US-China strategic competition. Australia preserves a deep enmeshment with the United States’ scientific infrastructure, at the same time that it maintains a geopolitical and economic relationship with China. The US-China competition will leave Australia increasingly vulnerable as the US Congress and the Trump administration move to protect Washington’s technological advantage over Beijing. The more the United States pulls away, the more Australia will be pressured to limit its science and technological interaction with China. How does Washington view the technology competition with Beijing? What does this mean for the future of the R&D industry in Australia, including in universities and technology start-ups? How can Australia and the United States work together to avoid some of these potentially unintended consequences? Does Canberra need to boost R&D and cybersecurity investments to build its own technological ‘weight?’

To discuss these issues, USSC hosted a webinar event featuring Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security William Greenwalt, CEO of the Cyber Institute at Australian National University Professor Lesley Seebeck, and US Studies Centre Research Fellow and author of the report Tech wars: US-China technology competition and what it means for Australia, Brendan Thomas-Noone in conversation with US Studies Centre Director of Foreign Policy and Defence Ashley Townshend.