Maintaining higher-tech superiority retains the vital

Lee Woo-il

The writer is the standing vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technologies and emeritus professor at Seoul Nationwide College.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan staged a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, triggering the Pacific War. In spite of the atomic bomb-led devastating defeat of Japan, the United States eagerly supported its restoration. By serving as the U.S. navy foundation for logistics help during the Korean War, Japan grew to become an financial electricity and closest ally to the U.S. in 1 of history’s largest ironies.

However, the U.S. did not let Japan increase much too big. It arranged the so-known as Plaza Accord amid the U.S., Britain, France, West Germany and Japan to depreciate the U.S. dollar and induce the Japanese yen to inflate by more than twice its benefit. The sudden soar humbled Japan’s mighty exports and induced the asset bubble burst heralding the “lost two decades” for the Japanese financial system.

Underneath the watchful opening and reform campaign from December 1978, China dispatched an army of scientists and engineers to the U.S. to master western technologies. Since the normalization of diplomatic relations in January 1979, the U.S. contributed to China’s swift financial advance. But the U.S. sharply shifted its plan on China when its chief Xi Jinping turned assertive and challenged the U.S.-led order just after the world’s most populous state became the world’s 2nd most effective financial system. The U.S. is funneling an astronomical budget in analysis and improvement through regulations like the CHIPS and Science Act and slapping numerous polices to protect against chopping-edge systems from flowing into China in get to make sure its cozy engineering guide in excess of China.

Even with the tense confrontation on the façade, the U.S. secretary of condition secretary frequented China for the initially time in five yrs in a helpful gesture. Movements on the non-public entrance also have been building refined variations. Tesla introduced that it was setting up a new Megafactory on battery storages in Shanghai. Xi achieved with Microsoft co-founder Monthly bill Gates, the first international entrepreneur who has visited China given that the pandemic.

The geopolitical actions these days shows that nothing at all in international connection can come before nationwide interests. To protect sovereignty and economic gains amid the intensifying competition between world-wide powers, we should make up our value. Irreplaceable advanced technologies is the sole vital to maintain and boost our worth in the age of intense competition more than technology.

U.S. President Joe Biden headed straight to the highly developed chip manufacturing facility of Samsung Electronics in Pyeongtaek throughout his first visit to Korea in May perhaps past 12 months. Korea possesses the world’s top technological know-how on chipmaking, specially in memory, inviting heated interests from other international locations. But their notice could swiftly amazing if our supremacy is overtaken by latecomers to cause safety instability. We should retain up innovation in science and technologies to retain significant-tech superiority.

We must shift further than the system as speedy follower and turn out to be a tend-setter in science and technological know-how design to maintain the edge. Private-sector R&D investment is 2.5 instances greater than government financial investment. The governing administration ought to up our R&D budget to focus R&D actions in strategic areas.

R&D process should adjust so that scientists could develop into cost-free and intense in innovation. Paperwork ought to be upgraded to grow to be a lot more knowledgeable in substantial-tech from the present system in which government officials rotate each individual one or two years. It is encouraging that the new room administration would be stuffed with officers with experience in the area.

It is critical to enhance human money in the science and technological innovation fields. Human sources are thinning due to demographic woes. Due to the fact brains in science and math want health care educational institutions, the lack in R&D manpower in science and engineering subject is worsening. The elementary and secondary education will have to shift away from higher education-entry aim to deepen finding out on science, technological innovation, engineering, and arithmetic (STEM) and heighten pupil knowledge and interest in science and know-how. Much more endeavours should be paid to catch the attention of international talents.

Popularization of science and technological innovation is also urgent. Irrespective of the advance in tech conventional, the public recognition on science and technologies stays disappointingly very low. Disinterestedness in science and technological know-how dries up human capital in the discipline and could bring about a waste in nationwide abilities by breeding doubts in scientific and technological points.

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt highlighted the position of science and technology in potential wars by citing the value of IT in the Ukraine war. He argues that the modern capability in science and technological innovation will ascertain countrywide safety and fate. Korea which lacks all-natural sources ought to exert all-out attempts to innovate science and technological know-how for the survival of the region.

Translation by the Korea JoongAng Daily personnel.