Biden restricted Technological Investment in China by Decree
US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to limit US investment in China's technology sector, including the development of semiconductors, microelectronics, quantum technology and artificial intelligence, the news agencies reported.
From the text of the document, it is understood that the American leader is concerned that countries such as China are developing technologies that "play a key role in terms of intelligence, surveillance and the use of means in cyberspace."
"The rapid development by such countries of semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence increases their capabilities to carry out actions that threaten the national security of the United States," is noted in the order.
In a special briefing, a representative of the US government said that Biden's order "gives the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to regulate certain investments in entities in China engaged in activity affecting national security in three specific sectors: semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technology and some artificial intelligence systems". The briefing stated that US authorities expect businesses to report such investments, some of which may be prohibited.
The government representative assured that the provisions of the decree represent "a step in the field of national security, not in the economy". He added that Washington is "pursuing a policy of reducing risks from China," but made the stipulation that the goal of American actions is not to lead to the separation of the US and Chinese economies.
The measure could further strain relations between the world's two largest economies, the news agencies noted. Areas affected by the restrictions, such as investment in Chinese companies developing microchip design software and manufacturing facilities, are dominated by countries such as the US, Japan and the Netherlands, so China is trying to create its own alternatives.
US Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed Biden's order. "For too long, American money has helped fuel China's military rise. Today, the U.S. took the first step toward ensuring that US investment does not go to finance the advancement of China's military," he said, adding that Congress should enact these restrictions into law and refine them.
Republicans expressed displeasure that the measures were not broad enough. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul praised the overall philosophy of the restrictions, but added that "the fact that they don't include existing investments and also sectors like biotech and energy is a cause for concern."
A representative of the American government confirmed to "Reuters" that the text of the decree refers only to future, but not to capital investors in a situation in which they are found.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio called the measures "almost laughable." "They are full of loopholes, explicitly ignore the dual use of important technologies, and do not include industries that the Chinese government considers vital." Fellow Democrat Bob Casey said Biden's order "takes into account the urgency of the issue and will allow the United States to reduce some risks from malicious players like China."
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