Think Tank (September to November 2019)
Mr Adrian Tan (right), Head of Policy Coordination & Specialist Research, RSIS, speaking at the workshop. Beside him is Dr Hoo Tiang Boon, Assistant Professor, RSIS


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RSIS Workshop on Geopolitics and Technology
23 Oct 2019

On 23 October 2019, RSIS conducted a workshop on “Geopolitics and Technology” at the Conrad Centennial Singapore. The workshop was attended by a select group of senior policymakers as well as industry and think tank leaders, including Dr Tony Tan, Chairman of the RSIS Board of Governors (BOG) and Mr Peter Ho, BOG member, were present.

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS, opened the workshop which was divided into three plenary sessions. Plenary Session 1 discussed the themes of US strategies to maintain technological primacy; its responses to rising Chinese technological dominance; and the implications this has on US-China relations and the global order.

Plenary Session 2 deliberated on the topics of China’s technological progress and strategies; its responses to the push from US to maintain technological primacy; and the implications for US-China relations and the global order.

Lastly, Plenary Session 3 discussed the themes of emerging technologies and their impact on the future global economy and supply chain; and the national trajectories of China and the US. Speakers at this session shared their views on the impact of technology on geopolitics.

Overall, the discussions at the workshop focused on the growing US-China rivalry and their competition for technological superiority. The workshop also discussed the possibility of a US-China technological decoupling, and its potential impact on the US, China, and Southeast Asia. The workshop further discussed the ideological dimensions of this competition and the challenges faced by common people as a result of rapid technological advancements. Discussions continued on 24 October in a closed-door discussion forum among the participants and stakeholders.

The workshop was closed by Amb Ong, who concluded that participants should consider in greater detail on how to better manage the effects of the US-China technological competition.

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