We republish below an important piece of analysis by Keith Lamb, originally published in CGTN on 23 November 2021, seeking to understand the US’s motivations in imposing restrictions on China’s semiconductor industry. The author concludes that semiconductor technology is crucial for China’s goal of building a modern socialist country by 2049, and that the US and its allies are determined to impede – or ideally prevent – any further economic breakthroughs for socialist China.
Since 2015, the U.S. has introduced technological restrictions preventing China from both competing openly in consumer markets and acquiring technology. Restrictions have focused on the semiconductor industry and correlated sectors. For example, the Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) was blacklisted in December 2020, and, just before this, U.S. and non-U.S. chipmakers who use U.S. semiconductor technology, were forced to comply with U.S. sanctions meaning they could no longer take orders from companies like Huawei.
The U.S. has justified its actions by citing China’s civil-military integration where semiconductors can be used in advanced weaponry. However, even if true, considering the U.S. military and the microchip industry grew in tandem, this crossover wouldn’t be extraordinary. At any rate, it isn’t China’s military that surrounds the U.S., and nor does China seek to confront the U.S. which sits securely protected by two oceans and two compliant neighbors.Continue reading Keith Lamb: Blocking China’s semiconductor industry is an attempt to impede the construction of socialism