U.S. – China rivalry in Latin America: at the origins of technological decoupling

U.S. – China rivalry in Latin America:
at the origins of technological decoupling

Article received: 2022.09.26. Accepted: 2023.01.18

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.03.03

For citation:

Degterev D.A., Piskunov D.A., Eremin A.A. U.S. – China rivalry in Latin America: at the origins of technological decoupling. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 3. P. 20-38. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2023.03.03. EDN: OPJLVI

This article has been published in the framework of the RUDN University’s grant system for research projects.


Increasing U.S. – China competition revealed the leading role of the technology sphere in the terms of global leadership. Ongoing rivalry between two states led to the appearance of decoupling process which results in severance of economic, technological, and political ties. This phenomenon was taken on a global scale, with the U.S. and China seeking to form techno-economic blocs (technological ecosystems). Based on this hypothesis, the authors investigates the processes of technological dissociation on the example of U.S. – China competition in Latin America. For this purpose, the paper uses the technology transfer theory by K. Krause, transnational relations theory by J. Nye, R. Keohane, and international political economy approaches, as well as comparative and network methods of analysis. The authors take economic statistics, including data on value added from the TiVA database and on high-tech trade from UNCTAD dataset, and consider the 5G market as a field of political competition. The authors investigate the region’s value-added structure and high-tech trade of LA countries. The article concludes that the U.S. and China form network structures in value chains that meet the needs of national security, and a “new bipolarity” in the network of high-tech trade. In the context of Krause’s theory, the authors propose a structural scheme of technological decoupling in which the spread of 5G technology plays a key role. It is the use of new telecommunication standards that is main reason to technological decoupling in the region. In this regard, the authors investigate the LA market and the individual cases of MNCs, which are the key drivers of competition in this field and thus influence the technological sovereignty of the states in the region.

U.S., China, technological decoupling, information sovereignty, Latin America, competitive dissociation, 5G technologies.


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Content No. 3, 2023

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