US Pressures China Amid Russia Trade
In an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned that if Chinese tech companies continue to ship chips to Russia and Belarus in violation of American sanctions, Washington may punish by cutting them off from key supplies. The US pressures China amid Russia trade.
She specifically targeted Beijing’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), a largely state-owned big chip manufacturer.
“They have their own self-interest to not supply this stuff to Russia. So they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. It would be devastating to China’s ability to produce these chips,” Raimondo said
She warned any attempt from SMIC to override the US ban on trade with Russia will force Washington to restrict the company’s access to America’s most advanced software, which is essential for the manufacturer.
It is not the first time Raimondo has taken a harsh stance on China. During her confirmation hearings before Congress in January 2021, she also pledged to adopt a hard line in response to Beijing’s “unfair trade practices.” Earlier, the US Commerce Department under then President Donald Trump banned Chinese firm Huawei, as well as hundreds of other companies from importing American chips.
Earlier last week, Beijing made it clear that it was willing to preserve its trade relations with Moscow. “We will not join such unilateral sanctions, and we will continue to maintain normal trade, economic and financial ties with [Russia],” chairman of the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Committee Guo Shuqing declared.
The military attack on Ukraine in late February provoked a new round of sanctions against Russia. The sanctions are aimed at the tech, financial, and energy industries in the country.
Imports of high-tech products are currently prohibited from Russia and Belarus. SWIFT, the worldwide financial transactions service, has cut off some banks. Russian flights are also prohibited from travelling through the airspace of the United States and the European Union. At the same time, several international corporations have pulled out of the Russian market in protest of Moscow’s military offensive.