USA: Members of a US Senate committee announced on Thursday that they are considering new rules to restrict investment in China's high-tech industries.
Despite disagreements over the specifics of the rules, he claimed the move was necessary to prevent US funding from supporting Beijing's resolute efforts to overthrow Washington.
Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, said, "We know that our adversaries will use any means to close the gap between our technological capabilities and their technological capabilities, that is. regardless of how legit their strategy actually is."
It is unknown to what extent US investments are helping them bridge those gaps.
The committee's hearing was the most recent example of growing concern among US government officials over whether the country's close economic and commercial ties with China, which have grown over the past 20 years, have ultimately compromised national security.
Senators on the committee argued that investments in Chinese high-tech firms, which are still permitted despite a flurry of US actions targeting many Chinese industries, should be seen as a risky exception to Washington's export restrictions. needed.
He specifically questioned whether US funding should still be made available to a Chinese company that had already been barred from receiving US equipment. According to research, there is a US investment of about $ 118 billion in China.
As to how far the US should go to halt these investments, however, committee members did not fully agree.
The committee's senior Republican, Senator Pat Tommy of Pennsylvania, warned against restricting capital flows from the US too quickly and with an overly broad mandate, especially if such action is taken through executive action rather than through the legislative process.
He said he was concerned that the White House was too hasty to issue an executive order that would establish a one-sided investment regime.
"If you knew that starting a business in the US could make it impossible for you to invest in China, the world's second largest economy, why would you do that?"
While Congress continues to discuss the matter and prepare a final bill that could pass, other lawmakers have recently urged the White House to act quickly with US President Joe Biden's executive order.
Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who co-authored a pending bipartisan bill to review outbound investment in "foreign adversaries" including China, said, "We are seeing the vulnerabilities of an open door between our economies." Huh."
According to an old saying by Vladimir Lenin, the bourgeoisie will sell us the rope with which we will hang them, said Cornyn.
China is trying to use the resourcefulness of Americans to crush our own economy, that's exactly what they are doing.
Congress and the White House have recently issued several new rules designed to prevent the transfer of American knowledge, capital and technology to various sectors of China's economy.
These measures include sanctions against state-of-the-art surveillance firms, which the US claims have been used to target Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in China's far-western Xinjiang region, as well as a ban on equipment sales to Chinese telecommunications giants. whose equipment is The claims could be used by the Chinese government to conduct espionage.
Although many US policymakers claim they are not in favor of a complete shutdown from the world's second-largest economy, it is becoming more and more clear that they view unrestricted trading relationships with Chinese companies as a significant and growing risk. see as.
They insist that their urgency has grown as a result of Chinese leader Xi Jinping's insistence that even seemingly private businesses should ultimately be loyal to the Communist Party.
In the hearing, senators stressed the need for the US to develop cutting-edge technologies domestically to maintain its competitiveness.
The CHIPS and Science Act, which was signed into law last month and will inject billions of dollars into the US semiconductor industry, was also co-authored by Senator Cornyn.
In a separate setting on Thursday, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the US would "tougher" the CHIPS law, ensuring that any business receiving federal subsidies to produce chips in the US would not have access to its technology. will not be allowed to move. sugar business.
"The whole point of this is to secure national security," said Raimondo, a think tank in Washington, at the Atlantic Council. And we are well aware of China's threat, he continued.
That said, we don't want you to start developing the most advanced chips in China as soon as you accept this money.
The senators expressed their hope that this year's annual defence authorisation bill, which is anticipated to pass before the end of the year, will include at least some new legislation to block outbound investments during the hearing.