WTO: China Takes Action Against US Chip Curbs

Image copyright: Getty Images [via CNBC]

The Facts

  • On Monday, China formally filed a legal "request for consultations" at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the US over its move to block sales of advanced chips and chip-making equipment without a license to Chinese firms.

  • Previously, the Biden administration in October announced various chip export control measures. However, China claims the changes obstruct international trade and threaten the stability of the global industrial supply chains.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

The US can only ban the sale of technology or equipment, not the free flow of global tech talent to China, so it will be virtually impossible to contain China’s rise and emergence as a stronger power than the US. If the intention of these export control measures is to make it harder for China to become a global leader in artificial intelligence and semiconductors, it’s bound to backfire.

Anti-China narrative

The US is having a rational response to heightened geopolitical threats and the role of emerging technologies in advanced weapons systems. It would be foolish to expect the US to continue supplying its own and allied technologies at the cost of national security and help China reach its goal of upgrading its military capabilities. Even if the ban on semiconductor exports to China sets off a slight geopolitical quake, it’s worth it.

Go Deeper

Sign up to our daily newsletter