Americans Are the Ones Funding China’s AI

Americans Are the Ones Funding China's AI

( – If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s just how dependent we have become on China. In 2020, it became very clear there was a desperate shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) in America, and we had to rely on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to produce masks in the quantities we needed. That same dependency can be seen today in the prescription drug industry, especially antibiotics, and with the vital rare earth metals used in the production of modern electronics, including those used in cutting-edge military equipment.

Another area that should worry Americans is that some US companies are sending large piles of cash to China to support its research into artificial intelligence (AI), an industry with strong ramifications in the military sector. This is a concern that the policy think tank, the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown University, looked at and reported on recently.

Sounding a Warning

According to the CSET report, 17% of the transactions (around $40.2 billion) of 251 Chinese AI companies involved investors based in the United States between 2015 and 2021. When investments involve multiple countries, the exact amount of American involvement cannot be determined. However, CSET found that transactions involving money only coming from the US added up to $7.45 billion, which makes that the absolute minimum.

After running all the numbers and taking into consideration the current geopolitical mechanism that the world works under, CSET issued a series of recommendations for the policymakers in Washington, DC, to consider. These include tightening the disclosure rules for US-based investors when they deal with China and “[creating] a mechanism to prevent US investment” into companies on the Department of Commerce’s (banned) Entity List.

Current Attempts to Curtail Investments

Former President Donald Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13959 on November 12, 2020, wherein he said that the PRC was “increasingly exploiting United States capital” to the detriment of the national security of the United States. The order prohibits US investment into the “military-industrial complex of the [PRC],” a process that sounds simple but is actually one that the Communist country makes very difficult. Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden widened the scope of Trump’s EO.

The PRC and its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have taken aggressive measures in a program that they call Military-Civil Fusion (MCF), which the State Department describes as “the elimination of barriers between” the two spheres. They go on to say it is a policy that by-hook-or-by-crook (literally) whereby they intend “to achieve military dominance.” The upshot of that is the inescapable conclusion that by providing the funds for what on the surface seems to be simply commercial research, investors would actually be pouring money directly into the PRC’s military budget.

Copyright 2023,