US Protection of Supply Chain Security Will Increase Confrontation Risk

Since President Joe Biden took office, the U.S. has further increased hostility toward other countries in the field of science and technology, guided by the concept of rebuilding America. Compared with the Donald Trump era, the Biden administration is more obsessed with supply chain security issues. The Interim National Security Strategy Guidance issued by the Biden administration clearly mentions the fierce competition among major powers in the development and deployment of emerging technologies such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing; there is special emphasis on safeguarding supply chain security. Compared to Trump’s version of the National Security Strategy, the guidance goes further and arbitrarily considers China to be the No. 1 competitor of the United States. Against this backdrop, Biden invited 19 major companies from around the world to a meeting on the chip shortage, excluding only Chinese companies, which shows the sinister intention of forming an alliance to decouple from China in the chip supply chain.

In fact, the global supply chain situation is tense, which is the root cause for the shortage of chips. The United States has clamped down on other countries, resulting in serious damage to the global industrial chain. For example, U.S. sanctions against Huawei sent a large number of companies around the world into a frenzy to stockpile chips, further exacerbating the chip shortage. In order to maintain its monopoly and hegemony, the U.S. has repeatedly generalized the so-called national security concept and abused the Entity List to maliciously suppress Chinese enterprises and institutions. On April 8, the U.S. Commerce Department added seven Chinese entities to the Entity List, including both representative domestic chip companies and national supercomputing centers. To date, more than 300 Chinese institutions or individuals have been added to the U.S. Entity List, and its scope is increasingly expanding beyond the technology sector. Recently, the British media revealed a letter from U.S. senators to the U.S. Commerce Department, requesting export controls on all Chinese chip companies that design below 14nm. The Chinese market has a huge role to play in the recovery of the global semiconductor industry, and at a time when the world is experiencing a structural shortage of chip production capacity, the potential damage that could be caused by the dangerous attempt of unilateral “de-Chinaization” by the U.S. is not only global, but will also inevitably backfire on U.S. domestic enterprises.

In order to end dependence on overseas suppliers, Biden signed an executive order in February requiring a 100-day review of the U.S. supply chain for four types of products: semiconductor chips, high-capacity batteries for electric vehicles, rare earth minerals, and pharmaceuticals. There are also plans to complete a risk assessment of the production supply chain of six major sectors, including communication technology, within a year. But some U.S. officials say that frankly, it is unlikely that this will fundamentally solve the longstanding supply chain problems in the United States, not to mention the immediate chip shortage.

It can be said that from the Trump administration’s chaotic moves against China to the Biden administration’s combination of various policy measures deeply tied to the U.S. reconstruction strategy, what remains unchanged is the confrontation-oriented mindset. In a modern society where globalization is growing and the world expects peace and security, this kind of confrontational thinking of the strategic containment of other countries in the name of protecting one’s own security and threatening the security of other countries is extremely anachronistic.

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