US President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday added seven Chinese supercomputer research labs and manufacturers to a US export blacklist amid a dispute with Beijing over technology and security.
The measure is the latest sign that Biden is sticking to the line taken by former US president Donald Trump toward Chinese tech industries seen by Washington as potential threats.
The decision adds to mounting conflict over the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) industrial plans, access to US technology, and accusations of computer attacks and theft of business secrets.
The latest penalties block access to US technology for researchers and manufacturers that the US Department of Commerce said build supercomputers used by the Chinese military in weapons development.
Biden has said he wants better relations with Beijing, but has given no indication that he will roll back sanctions imposed by Trump on Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) and other companies.
The CCP has responded by declaring that accelerating efforts to transform China into a self-reliant “technology power” will be this year’s top economic priority.
Chinese-designed supercomputers have set records for speed, but are assembled from processor chips and other hardware made in the US.
They can be used in weapons development by simulating nuclear explosions, and the aerodynamics of high-speed or stealth aircraft and missiles.
The latest US penalties affect the National Supercomputing Centers (國家超級計算中心) in the cities of Jinan, Shenzhen, Wuxi and Zhengzhou; Tianjin Phytium Information Technology Co (天津飛騰信息技術); the Shanghai High-Performance Integrated Circuit Design Center (上海集成電路技術與產業促進中心); and Shenzhen Sunway Micro-electronics Co (深圳信維微電子).
Meanwhile, US telecom regulators are in the process of stripping three Chinese phone carriers of the right to operate in the US.
Trump also tried to force the Chinese owner of video service TikTok to sell its US unit and issued an order barring Americans from investing in securities of companies deemed by the Pentagon to be linked to China’s military.
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