Business Review


Hans Morgenthau defined international politics as the struggle for power among nations. Initially power was understood in terms of security and military supremacy only. But time has proved that military power is only effective when it is supported by a strong economy. Especially in post-Cold War era when the world is transforming from uni-polar to multi-polar world on the basis of competing economic centres, political economy has attained equal importance at par with the international security studies, if not more. One of the most important and sensitive area of international political economy is technology transfer, a life bloodfor modernization of a developing economy. No doubt the US started relations with China due to the strategic considerations against the USSR, but it could not ignore the temptation to capture a market of more than one billion people. For People's Republic of China (PRC) one of the major objectives for the opening towards the West was thrust for modern technology for its four modernisations. In the post-Cold War era, with the demise of the Soviet Union (USSR), strategic relations lost its relevance and commercial relations became at the core. Trade, which started from virtually nil, became multi-fold in J 990s, still was troubled because the United States (US) was not ready to sale what China wanted for its technological advancement. The reason was that in the US, technology transfer is carried out by private actors. But framework, which regulates the technology transfers, is controlled by the policy makers who could not get rid of the Cold War mindset that PRC was a communist state, a threat to the 'free world.' This paper covers the US policy of technology transfer in the domain of military, nuclear and satellite technology, level of cooperation, legislations and issues in technology transfers and finally its impact on bilateral relations. It concludes that the US used technology transfers as a contrivance to advance its policy goals in China but technology denial led China to the alternative sources and the US lost its leverage to bargain on policy options. The US entrepreneurs also had to bear the cost in terms of lost business.


Technology transfers, Military, Nuclear, Satellite, Alternative sources



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Published Online

June 02, 2021



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