USA-China: Semiconductor War Returns

Chinese services arrest British MI6 spy

The United States Congress, divided on issues of the American national debt, turned out to be compact and united regarding anti-China policies in the high technology sector. Republican and Democratic leaders in the House Committee for China Relations issued a new call for President Joe Biden’s administration to “take stronger action to curb China’s growing dominance in the production of less expensive microchips used to make consumer electronics systems and essential for a variety of US industry sectors.”

Thus, Washington lawmakers urged the White House not to abandon the policy of “semiconductor war” in view of the decisive presidential elections on January 13 in Taiwan, the world’s most advanced microchip manufacturer. In a letter provided to The Wall Street Journal, members of Congress called on the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce to “use all existing trade tools to identify new mechanisms aimed at protecting the supply chain of old chips used by US manufacturers.”

The lawmakers’ call for new action against the Chinese semiconductor industry, including possible tariffs, is aimed at “countering America’s excessive and growing dependence on China for less advanced chips.” According to The Wall Street Journal, this initiative was supported by Republican Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, currently chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, a Democratic member of the same committee.

Tensions between China, the United States, and the West generally go far beyond the “semiconductor war” and are taking on dangerous new forms, including a full-scale spy war. Chinese security officials said they have arrested a foreign national, known only by his surname “Huang,” accused of passing the British spy agency MI6 a list containing “highly sensitive information” classified as top secret.

According to sources in China’s Ministry of State Security, the arrested individual “was the head of a foreign financial consulting agency from a third country.” The alleged spy began working with MI6 in 2015, when “Huang” received “special training” and was also given “special spy equipment.” At this time, the British government has not commented on the incident, but condemned the “increasing interference” of Chinese spies in political and defense circles in the United Kingdom.