The Biden administration on Oct. 7 announced sweeping new limits on the sale of semiconductor technology to China, a step aimed at crippling Beijing’s ability to access critical technologies that are needed for everything from supercomputing to guiding weapons.
The New York Times reports that the moves are the clearest sign yet that a dangerous standoff between the world’s two major superpowers is increasingly playing out in the technological sphere, with the U.S. trying to establish a stranglehold on advanced computing and semiconductor technologies that are essential to China’s military and economic ambitions.
The package of restrictions, which was released by the Commerce Department, is designed in large part to slow the progress of Chinese military programs, which use supercomputing to model nuclear blasts, guide hypersonic weapons and establish advanced networks for surveilling dissidents and minorities, among other activities.
Alan Estevez, the under secretary of commerce for industry and security, said that his bureau was working to prevent sensitive technologies with military applications from being acquired by China’s military, intelligence and security services.
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