US plans to make China comply with Russian chip sanctions
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has re-iterated that the US will enforce Chinese compliance with chip sanctions against Russia, according to Bloomberg.
“I’m not going to pretend it won’t be hard. We’ve never done anything like this. But we have a plan and we’re serious about it,” Bloomberg reported Raimondo saying during an interview at the White House on Wednesday March 9.
The US had previously indicated that it expected Chinese firms to comply with technology sanctions aimed at Russia (see Report: US expects Chinese firms to uphold Russian tech sanctions).
However, the Chinese government opposes the use of sanctions and expects normal trade cooperation with Russia. Indeed, the sale of broad range of mainstream components to Russia could provide a minor boost to China’s semiconductor industry. Sanctions that are not broadly supported tend to be ineffective.
No evidence of sanctions busting
Raimondo had previously said that the US has the ability to shut down Chinese chip manufacturers – such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) – if they don’t comply with US sanctions.
SMIC is itself on a US entity list that has prevented it gaining access to extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment it still relies on US manufacturing equipment and software. SMIC is China’s leading domestic chip maker and might be wary of incurring further sanctions from the US that could hit its medium-term production capability.
“There’s no evidence that SMIC or any particular Chinese company is planning to do an end run around. But what I was trying to say is: we’re serious about this. We’re going to enforce this and we have ways to enforce this, even against countries like China who aren’t going along with our export controls,” Bloomberg reported Raimondo saying.
Raimondo said that the US government continues to look at its export control policy with respect to China and would be prepared to “clamp down further” if necessary, according to the report.
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