The confrontation between the world’s leading economies in the high-tech sector has become a sort of proxy war of this new age. We are witnessing a standoff on the markets for chips, 5G technology and artificial intelligence as a modern-day reincarnation of traditional great power rivalry and competition to maintain and expand their influence along their borders and across the world.
The advent of this new age has not altered the leading role of the state in national security. Today, just as many centuries ago, it is the state that has the ability to counter external threats by bringing together human, financial and technological resources.
The current conflict unleashed by the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world, which has not spared Russia, demonstrates that only the state with its budgetary power, in cooperation with private high-tech businesses, can ensure technological and digital sovereignty.
While originally designed to promote connectivity and positive complementarity in a globalised world, digital technology is now taking on a completely different role. First, there is an effort to use national or bloc-based digital platforms, including in chip manufacturing, to deconstruct or drive apart elements of the global economic system that don’t conform to the present-day reality and threaten state sovereignty, perceived as it is by most countries as an ultimate value.
Second, digital platforms are emerging as tools of non-military confrontation between competing powers who are seeking to push their rivals out of specific market segments and create path dependence for them by undermining or destroying similar platforms in unfriendly countries.
Today, Russia and its foreign partners, primarily within the BRICS framework, do not see a worthy place for themselves in a US-led global architecture. These countries contribute to building a new, better balanced and fair global political and economic architecture by creating and developing their own digital platforms. Chip manufacturing lies at the core of these efforts.