Xi Jinping Hits back at Biden, says China will Prevail over US tech curbs on World’s No. 2 Economy

In News
China Xi Jinping

Xi’s remarks demonstrate how China plans to deal with the US introducing restrictions on tech exports, which could hurt China’s ability to develop large parts of its economy, like semiconductors, supercomputers, surveillance systems, and advanced weapons.

In Summary

• President Xi Jinping says that Beijing will “resolutely win the battle” to develop critical technologies.

• China is concerned that US regulations could make it harder to develop new technologies. Xi says that the world’s second-largest economy needs to speed up innovation in critical areas for “technology self-reliance.”

• President Xi Jinping said that Asian economic giant is now one of the world’s most innovative countries. He hailed China’s work in space exploration and biomedicine.

• The US added 31 organizations to its unverified list, making it much harder for them to buy hardware from other countries.

China Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping, is applauded as he waves to senior members of the government as he arrives to the Opening Ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at The Great Hall of People on October 16, 2022 in Beijing, China. [Lintao Zhang/Getty Images]

China to Accelerate Launch of Major National Projects of Strategic Importance

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that his nation will prevail in its fight to develop strategically important tech. This shows Beijing’s concern about a US strategy to cut it off from cutting-edge chip capabilities.

Xi said in a speech Sunday at the start of the twice-a-decade congress of the ruling Communist Party in Beijing that the Asian country wants to focus on national strategic needs, gather the strength to do scientific and technological research that is both homegrown and the best in the world, and win the battle in key core technologies.

Xi said that the world’s second-largest economy will speed up innovation in areas important for “technology self-reliance.” He also said, “China will move faster to launch several major national projects of strategic, big-picture, and long-term importance.” However, he did not elaborate on those efforts.

China Xi Jinping
U.S. President Joe Biden (2nd L) gestures as he listens to the national anthem as they welcome Team USA during an event at the South Lawn of the White House May 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. [Alex Wong/Getty Images]

Xi: China’s Power has grown and warns of ‘Dangerous Storms.’

Neil Thomas, an analyst at Eurasia Group Ltd., a political risk advisory firm, said that the focus on science shows “how much Xi Jinping is betting on innovation as a solution to China’s economic problems and its reliance on Western technology.”

“That’s super significant. It shows his increasing priority and how much he is betting on China’s future.”

This month, the US Commerce Department announced new rules that make it harder for Chinese customers to buy semiconductors and equipment for making chips. This hurts China’s efforts to build up its chip industry. The US also added 31 organizations to its “unverified” list. These include Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. and Naura Technology Group Co. subsidiary, a leading chip equipment maker. This makes it much harder for these companies to buy hardware abroad.

This was the most aggressive thing the Biden administration had done to stop China from getting cutting-edge skills. The US is trying to ensure that Chinese companies don’t give technology to the People’s Liberation Army and that Chinese chipmakers don’t learn how to make their advanced semiconductors.

Depending on how Washington enforces the restrictions, the effects could reach far beyond semiconductors and into industries that rely on high-end computing, such as electric vehicles, aerospace, and smartphones.

China Xi Jinping
The return capsule of Chang’e-5 probe is on display during an exhibition of China’s Major Scientific and Technological Achievements at Wuxi Museum on May 12, 2021 in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province of China. [Zhu Jipeng/VCG via Getty Images]

Economic Development Communist Party’s Top Priority

Beijing has said that the US’s new restrictions on its access to semiconductor technology will hurt supply chains and the world economy. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said the measures, which go into effect this month, are unfair and will “also hurt the interests of US companies.”

In his speech to the party congress, Xi said that China was now one of the world’s greatest innovators. He praised China’s work in space exploration and biomedicine, which will likely give him more time in power.

China and the US are getting increasingly competitive in space as Beijing sends probes to the moon, builds a space station, and sets its sights on Mars. Bill Nelson, who is in charge of NASA, has said that China steals space technology, and the country has been criticized for dealing with space debris that falls back to Earth.

China stated last month that it wants to send three unmanned missions to the moon over the next 10 years. This came just a day after the Chang’e-5 mission found a new mineral on the moon.

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