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US sanctions Chinese computer makers for expanding tech struggle

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BEIJING: The Biden administration has added seven Chinese research labs and supercomputer manufacturers to a blacklist of U.S. exports in a spreading dispute with Beijing over technology and security.

The measure announced Thursday, April 8 is the latest sign that President Joe Biden is sticking to the hard line taken by his predecessor, Donald Trump, on Chinese tech industries seen by Washington as potential threats.

The ruling adds to growing conflict over the ruling Communist Party’s industrial plans, access to American technology, and accusations of computer attacks and theft of trade secrets.

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The latest sanctions block access to U.S. technology for researchers and manufacturers, said the Commerce Department, who build supercomputers used by the Chinese military in weapons development.

Biden has said he wants better relations with Beijing, but has given no indication he will lift sanctions imposed by Trump on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and other companies.

The Communist Party responded by saying that accelerating efforts to transform China into an autonomous “technological power” will be this year’s economic priority.

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Chinese-designed supercomputers have set speed records, but are assembled from processor chips and other hardware supplied to the United States. They can be used in weapon development by simulating nuclear explosions and the aerodynamics of high speed or stealth aircraft and missiles.

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The latest US sanctions affect the national high-performance computing centers in the cities of Jinan, Shenzhen, Wuxi and Zhengzhou, information technology Tianjin Phytium, the Shanghai high-performance integrated circuit design center and Sunway Microelectronics.

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Meanwhile, US telecommunications regulators are in the process of removing three Chinese phone operators from the right to operate in the United States.

Trump also attempted to force Chinese owner of video service TikTok to sell his U.S. unit and issued an order prohibiting Americans from investing in securities of companies the Pentagon believed to be linked to the Chinese military.

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