‘Bullying’ China spurs US to limit advanced tech exports: American ambassador

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Beijing’s increasingly hardline policies are convincing more countries to boost strategic relations with Washington, says Nicholas Burns

US restrictions on advanced technology exports to China are driven by greater evidence of Beijing’s increasingly “aggressive” stance and an analysis of how it would likely use these tools as it “bullies” some neighbours, a senior US diplomat said on Thursday.

“We have to expect those technologies will be militarised, and we do not intend to be number two,” said Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, in remarks delivered at the Asia Society in New York.
Washington’s response to Beijing has included limits on advanced semiconductors, artificial-intelligence processors, semiconductor-making equipment and even some laptops.
After vowing to review steep import tariffs and export restrictions introduced by former US president Donald Trump and precipitating a bilateral trade war, the Joe Biden administration has doubled down on such measures.

As justification for Washington’s analysis, Burns cited Beijing’s island-building in the South China Sea as well as its territorial squabbles with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Malaysia and Brunei.

‘We’re concerned about the bullying of China’s neighbours in the South China Sea and the East China Sea,” said Burns, adding that it was not always easy to read the impetus behind Beijing’s muscular policies and what lies ahead.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but we’ve seen consistent aggression.”
The career diplomat, who has held assignments at the National Security Council and Nato, said a growing number of Chinese foreign policies simultaneously angered the United States, European Union, Japan, South Korea, India and Southeast Asian nations.

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