The great chip war
By Carl Bildt  |  Jan 25, 2023
The great chip war
Image courtesy of and under license from Shutterstock.com
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has rightfully grabbed many of the headlines over the past year, but an equally consequential development has been the intensifying economic clash between the US and China, including severe restrictions imposed on the export to China of advanced chips and other high-tech goods made using American tech.

STOCKHOLM - In addition to dealing with the fallout from open warfare in Eastern Europe, the world is witnessing the start of a full-scale economic war between the United States and China over technology. This conflict will be highly consequential, and it is escalating rapidly. In October, the US Commerce Department introduced severe new restrictions on the sale of advanced semiconductors and other high-tech goods to China. 

Even as Russia has been using missiles to try to cripple Ukraine’s energy and heating infrastructure, the US is now using export restrictions to curtail China’s military, intelligence, and security services.

Moreover, in late August of last year US President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) Act, which includes subsidies and other measures intended to bolster America’s domestic semiconductor industry. Semiconductors are - and will remain - at the heart of the 21st century economy. Without microchips, smartphones would be dumb phones, cars would not be able to move, communications networks would not function, any form of automation would be unthinkable, and the new era of artificial intelligence that is unfolding would remain the stuff of sci-fi novels. Controlling the design, fabrication, and value chains that produce these increasingly important components of people’s lives is thus of the utmost importance. This new chip clash is nothing less than a war for control o

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