US Looks to Extend Scientific Research Agreement with China

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The Facts

  • On Wednesday, the US State Dept. announced its intention to pursue a six-month extension of a longstanding science and technology agreement with China that would allow for negotiations with Beijing to "strengthen" the deal.

  • The Science and Technology Agreement (STA) — which allows the two nations to cooperate across the scientific and technological fields — was established in 1979 and has since been renewed every five years.

The Spin

Narrative A

Beijing has used the STA to advance its military objectives. China exploits civilian research partnerships for military purposes by using academic researchers, industrial espionage, and forced technology transfers to steal information that they can use against the US. The US must stop fueling its own destruction, and a good first step would be to let the STA expire.

Narrative B

The China hawks are wrong. China has become a scientific powerhouse, hosting advanced facilities found nowhere else. The US arguably stands to gain more from collaboration with China now than ever before. Working with China will provide more benefits than risks from the joint research that the landmark agreement enables.

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