The Biden administration has ratcheted up the economic pressure on China, taking moves earlier this month that could severely hamper Chinese efforts in the semiconductor industry. After unsuccessfully trying to convince many US allies to come along for the ride, the administration is now acting unilaterally out of concern that continuing advances in Chinese chip capabilities will not only serve to make China more competitive against America’s top tech companies but is also contributing to Chinese weapons advances.
THREAD: The US government's new export controls are wreaking havoc on China's chip industry.
New rules around "US persons" are driving an "industry-wide decapitation."
— Jordan Schneider (@jordanschnyc) October 14, 2022
According to Military Watch, China is now not only beating us logistically — capable of delivering supplies much faster and much cheaper — but has also moved ahead in several military-technological areas, including planes that are stealthier, longer-range quantum satellites, and hypersonic ballistic missile capabilities. Our Defense Department is continually finding itself falling further and further behind.
SCOOP – #China has stunned US intelligence and military officials by testing a #nuclear capable #hypersonic missile that traveled through low orbit in space, making a full circle around the globe before speeding towards its target. https://t.co/xBB8cSWQD0
— Demetri (@Dimi) October 16, 2021
— New Scientist (@newscientist) June 16, 2020
And while the Trump administration talked tough on China, the actions actually taken then were largely ineffective. Chinese companies on restricted lists were able to easily get around the restrictions simply by changing their names or addresses – evidently, the government doesn’t have Google.
But now the Biden administration is forcing all American citizens working at Chinese manufacturers to make a stark choice: leave now or risk losing your citizenship. Unlike previous sanctions, the new regulations specifically target “U.S. persons.” We’re trying to choke China off at the head.
Hugely important subject. If you ask me the most important geopolitical story right now, although getting little media attention, is the Biden administration's tough new approach to China semiconductors — very different from Trump's trade war, btw https://t.co/Dx70i8BZ3w
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) October 12, 2022
What brought us to this point?
Well, for years we looked the other way while China stole our technologies and other intellectual property. The Chinese long strategy can be traced back to Deng Xiaoping, who successfully leveraged Chinese worker power to pave a new path for China in the wake of Mao Zedong’s death. He found an unwitting ally in this effort in China’s old enemy: the Japanese government. Japan was so eager to sell to China in the 1980s, that it let many of its manufacturing secrets slip into China’s hands.
The US has been making a similar mistake for years. Now the Chinese dragon has grown smarter, fiercer, and larger.
Biden has his sword out, but can he stop its fire?
Ross Rosenfeld is a writer from New York whose work has appeared in many publications, and who is proud to be hated by Rudy Giuliani and just as proud to be part of the Occupy team. Follow him on Twitter @RossRosenfeld.