US to stick to hardline stance to deny China access to microchips
The US is concerned that the cutting-edge microchips will be used to boost the military capacity of China.
According to US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday, the US will maintain its tough position on denying China cutting-edge microchips, claiming that technology advancements might be exploited to bolster the Asian nation's military capability.
Raimondo explained to NBC, "We are not going to sell the most sophisticated American chips to China that they want for their military capacity," adding that the US will be as strict as possible.
The Secretary also remarked that the US will continue to export less sophisticated semiconductors to China, valued at billions of dollars.
In August, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to prohibit specific US investments in "sensitive technologies and products" in China.
In three industries—semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technology, and certain AI systems—the order empowers the US Treasury Secretary to prohibit or restrict some US investments in Chinese businesses.
The plan is aimed against investments in Chinese businesses producing chip-design software and manufacturing technologies. These sectors are primarily dominated by the US, Japan, and the Netherlands, but the Chinese government has been striving to develop domestic alternatives.
Reuters reported back in July that China would curb the export of some critical material used in the chips industry in retaliation to growing US restrictions on China's access to the technology in attempts to cripple the country's advancement in the field.
The Commerce Ministry announced that the new controls aim to protect national security and interests. Exporting rare earth metals, such as gallium and germanium, now requires special permission.