Two senior Republican members of the United States House of Representatives have called on the Biden administration to enhance export control enforcement on advanced semiconductors destined for China. The appeal comes in response to recent technological advancements by China’s leading semiconductor manufacturer.
A Letter to National Security Adviser
Screenshot of the letter urging tighter control of advanced semiconductors. Source: foreignaffairs.house.gov
In a letter addressed to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Representative Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Representative Mike Gallagher, Chairman of the House Select Committee on China, emphasized the need to revise and strengthen comprehensive regulations introduced in 2022. They specifically pointed out deficiencies and “loopholes” in the existing rules.
Concerns Over Recent Developments
The letter was prompted by the unveiling of Huawei Technologies’ Mate 60 Pro smartphone, which incorporates advanced chips produced by China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), despite U.S. sanctions.
McCaul and Gallagher expressed concerns, stating that “the rules introduced on October 7 and the expanding capabilities of SMIC exemplify an inert and opaque bureaucratic system that lacks insight into China’s industrial strategy, fails to comprehend China’s military objectives, and exhibits a deficiency in technological comprehension. Additionally, it seems to lack the determination to take effective action.”
The legislators urged the Biden administration to modernize existing regulations and swiftly respond to Huawei and SMIC. They also encouraged the administration to terminate Chinese firms’ access to powerful artificial intelligence chips available through cloud computing services.
Furthermore, they stressed the importance of enforcing the administration’s existing regulations that impose restrictions on Chinese enterprises, especially those hindering U.S. officials from verifying compliance with U.S. export regulations.
This call for tighter export controls on advanced chips reflects ongoing concerns about the transfer of sensitive technology to China and highlights the geopolitical challenges surrounding semiconductor exports.