This is a collaborative research paper by KPMG and The Clingendael Institute prepared for the Dutch Transformation Forum.
We are on the verge of large and global changes. Technological breakthroughs from the fourth industrial revolution are affecting our daily lives, meanwhile Western society is being rivalled by strong competitor Asia, and especially China. How do we plan for security and freedom in such disruptive times? How does Europe avoid being squashed between America First and the Chinese Dream? How do we leverage the innovations from Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things without getting bogged down in geopolitics around 5G?
This paper discusses the new security nexus of security, geopolitics and digitalization. As we will show, these topics are heavily intertwined. China’s ‘New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan’ offers an outlook for them to become the global leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2030, and their ‘Made in 2025’-strategy is aimed for China to become the new global manufacturing, cyber, science and technology innovation superpower. History teaches us that those who set the technical standards will dominate the world. Add into the mix China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which encompasses over 1 trillion USD in investments, establishing China’s influence on the Eurasian content by investing in all kinds of physical trade infrastructure, such as dry-ports, shipping routes and railways. We can conclude that China plans to re-establish both a digital and a physical silk road. Meanwhile, this hegemonic shift from West to East motivates other countries to join the power game.
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