Sun, 28 Feb 2021

Paris [France], January 15 (ANI): A French think tank on Thursday called for a united front with the US to control semiconductor technology transfers to China that could be used to advance weapons developed by the Chinese military, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

"The military end-use of semiconductor technology is a serious issue from the perspective of peace in East Asia," said Institut Montaigne, a Paris-based public policy think tank, in a report.

"There should be a shared recognition among allied countries that maintaining a technology gap with China is in the interest of international security," said the report, which was written by Mathieu Duchatel, director of the Asia programme at Institut Montaigne.

Che Pan, writing for SCMP, said that the report comes at a time when the EU is being forced to readjust its strategic position and look to the Asia Pacific for its future development.

The policy recommendations are emblematic of shared concerns among Western countries that semiconductor technologies could be harnessed to advance weapon systems as a more powerful China grows increasingly assertive in territorial disputes with neighbours, reported SCMP.

The report's recommendations come at a crucial juncture when the EU is being forced to readjust its strategic position and look to the Asia Pacific for its future development, especially after US standing in the region has taken a hit over President Donald Trump's poor handling of the Covid-19 crisis and now a new impeachment trial for inciting riots at the US Capitol.

Europe should also strengthen screening of foreign investment in its tech sector and scale back education and research cooperation with China in the field of microelectronics, said Che Pan.

If adopted, Duchatel said the report's policy recommendations would add to the difficulties facing the Chinese semiconductor sector amid a growing technology blockade from the west, reported SCMP.

Earlier, the US Commerce Department added about 60 Chinese companies, including chip maker SMIC and China's top drone maker DJI, to a blacklist of firms with alleged ties to the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Meanwhile, Mathieu Duchatel, the Report's author opined that it is still too early to predict whether the US grip on semiconductor tech transfer to China will be loosened under Joe Biden. (ANI)

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