United States' plan to beat China includes dominating tech standards groups, especially for 5G

United States' plan to beat China includes dominating tech standards groups, especially for 5G

America's plan to compete with China includes a call for the land of the free to dominate tech standards bodies, especially for 5G, and to appoint an ambassador level official to lead a new “Technology Partnership Office” that Washington will use to drive tech collaboration among like-minded nations.


Released last Thursday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and expected to have bipartisan support, the draft Strategic Competition Act of 2021 offers 281 pages of policy aimed at “ensuring the United States is postured to compete with China for decades to come,” in the words of ranking member US Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

The bill [PDF] devotes a section to “digital technology and connectivity,” the first item of which is a “statement of policy on leadership in international standards setting,” as follows:

The document also calls for the creation of a new Technology Partnership Office in the State Department, led by a new Ambassador-at-Large for Technology with full ambassadorial rank and the job of harmonizing technology governance and co-ordinating R&D around key technologies, including:


  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning;

  • 5G telecommunications and other advanced wireless networking technologies;

  • Semiconductor manufacturing;

  • Biotechnology;

  • Quantum computing;

  • Surveillance technologies, including facial recognition technologies and censorship software;

  • Fibre optic cables.

  • On 5G, the bill calls for the USA to lead future standards developments and standards bodies and orders an assessment of “the differences in the scope and scale of China’s engagement at such bodies compared to engagement by the United States or its allies and pa ..