First Advisor

Helen Rabello Kras

Second Advisor

Amy Schreier

Third Advisor

Lara Narcisi


Dr. Fred Gray


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

69 pages


The United States and China are both currently home to the strongest economies and militaries in the world. Despite their interdependence, trade wars have escalated between the two countries in the past few years. While past trade wars have been focused on purely economic protectionism or ideological stances, the trade wars of today signify a shift towards protecting critical emerging technologies. The important emerging technology of today is quantum computing, which will forever change the way that computers encrypt, process, and decode information. The United States and China are on the eve of the “quantum race,” in which they will attempt to outcompete each other as they vie for the technology that will shape the future of warfare, information technology, and arguably, the new global order. Alarmingly, existing sanction literature operates on the assumption of unassailable American hegemony and has not caught up to recent developments like the rise of the yuan and China’s impressive technological capacity. I begin this paper by outlining the physics that makes quantum computing so revolutionary. Then, I draw on the historical precedence of sanctions to outline the conditions for sanctions to be effective, and their various impact scenarios.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.

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