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Meek China Response to U.S. Chip Restrictions Raises Eyebrows

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The relatively muted response from Beijing after Washington announced restrictions on high-end semiconductors and chip-making equipment has analysts and officials parsing China’s thinking.

Credit: Lau Ka-kuen

China has a long history of biting back when other countries adopt policies it does not like. In 2020, when Australia called for an investigation into the origin of the Covid-19 virus, it was hit with duties and bans on barley, wine, wheat, wool, copper, timber and grapes totalling over US$1.3 billion.

After Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was detained in Canada in 2018 for allegedly violating US sanctions against Iran, Beijing quickly detained two Canadians in China and blocked or slowed a slew of farm imports from Canada.

And after Taiwan opened a representative office in Lithuania in 2021 using "Taiwan" rather than "Taipei", China sanctioned its officials, downgraded relations and banned its imports. Other recipients of heavy-handed reprisals include Japan, Mongolia, Norway, the Philippines and South Korea.

From South China Morning Post
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