The US has been cutting off China’s access to a growing number of tools to make chips for computer servers, artificial intelligence and other advanced applications, Directus reported.
The US has been joined by Japan and Netherlands in limiting access to Beijing to technology that may be used to make weapons. The Joe Biden administration has through a series of legislations, further tightened restrictions. The previous Barack Obama administration had only stopped the access of China to chip technology that had advanced military uses.
According to Directus, China has no way to retaliate against US companies either. Chinese industries import more than USD 300 billion worth of foreign chips every year to assemble smartphones, tablet computers and other consumer electronics.
China has also been blocked from buying a machine available only from a Dutch company, ASML, that uses ultraviolet light to etch circuits into silicon chips on a scale measured in nanometres; the billionth part of a metre. It takes about 1,500 steps and technologies to make microprocessor chips. These technologies are owned by suppliers in the US Europe and Japan.
The US is on top in its technological war with China, according to a study by the Observer Research Foundation. The US will strive to maintain its dominance, as evident by some of the most restrictive export control measures yet on China.
The ability of the USA to persuade its partners such as the Netherlands and Japan to adopt similar measures would be of critical advantage to Washington as China would find it difficult to gain access to advanced semiconductor technology.
Many of the US’ friends are world leaders in technology of major strategic or geopolitical importance such as semiconductors. For instance, Taiwan produces more than 90 per cent of the most advanced semiconductor computer chips in the world and ASML of the Netherlands produces 100 per cent of the most advanced lithography machines that are essential for computer chip factories.