As the U.S. Wages War on It China Reacts with Defiance

BRICS, 11 Sep 2023

Moon of Alabama - TRANSCEND Media Service

1 Sep 2023 – Just as U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo returns from China her department issues new restrictions on chip deliveries:

The United States has broadened restrictions on the export of high-performance artificial intelligence chips by Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), extending them beyond China to other regions, including some countries in the Middle East, amid rising concerns about Beijing’s access to critical AI resources.Reuters reported Thursday that a regulatory filing by Nvidia stated that its state-of-the-art A100 and H100 chips, which speed up machine learning on AI apps such as ChatGPT had been put on a “no-export” list.

The attempt is to prevent ‘leaks’ of chips from countries like the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia to Russia and China. But, as I noted yesterday, China is already making chips of equal capacity:

Huawei’s compute GPU capabilities are now on par with Nvidia’s A100 GPUs, Liu Qingfeng, founder and chairman of Chinese AI company iFlytek, said at the 19th Summer Summit of the 2023 Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum (via IT Home).Liu Qingfeng stated that Huawei has made significant strides in the GPU sector, achieving capabilities and performance comparable to Nvidia’s A100 GPU.

China is not only autarkic in making chips but now also in making the delicate machines needed to make chips:

China’s etching equipment giant Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment (AMEC) has reported hefty growth in earnings and revenue in the first half of 2023 thanks to strong demand for local tools as a result of US tech export controls, the company’s founder and CEO Gerald Yin Zhiyao said on Friday.

AMEC’s market share of China’s capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) etching equipment market is expected to reach 60 per cent in the near future from 24 per cent last October, Yin said. In the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) tool market, Yin said its share could rise to 75 per cent from almost zero after once-dominant Lam Research from the US saw its share drop sharply.

As China deepens its semiconductor self-sufficiency drive to include chip-making equipment and key components, Yin said that 80 per cent of restricted, imported parts at AMEC can be replaced domestically by the end of this year, with 100 per cent replacement following in the second half next year.

The New York Times resume of Secretary Raimondo’s and other’s trips is somewhat amusing:

U.S. Officials Are Streaming to China. Will Beijing Return the Favor?

Batteridge’s law responds with “No!” There were obviously no ‘favors’ from either side:

When Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, left China this week, it marked the end of a three-month diplomatic blitz by the Biden administration to try to stabilize ties with Beijing and arrest a free fall in the relationship that had raised concerns about the risk of conflict.President Biden had bet that high-level dialogue could help manage an escalating rivalry over trade, technology and the status of Taiwan. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken was the first to make the trip to the Chinese capital in June, followed by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and the presidential climate envoy, John Kerry, in July.

After logging all those miles, the question now is whether China will reciprocate by sending senior Chinese ministers to Washington.

The people Biden sent on visits in China had nothing to give and were given nothing. The U.S. attempt to deceive China by holding useless talks while it ramps up its cold war cordon around China have failed.

As long as that policy continues there is nothing of substance that China could gain by sending people to Washington DC. Holding talks just to keep talking about nothing does not make sense. So evidently no Chinese envoy will come.

Patrick Lawrence is trashing Biden’s strategy as he finds that the travels to China are not designed to talk with Chine but to deceive Americans:

Proposing to conduct routine business while sabotaging China’s competitive position in advanced technologies is prima facie a ridiculous idea.

The Biden administration’s China strategy comes down to parrying, in a word. All the pointless talk is intended to obscure a concerted effort to undermine China’s economy because the U.S. cannot compete with it in various strategic sectors, while — part two — buying time to move maximum U.S. military hardware as close to the mainland as possible under the program the Defense Department named a few years ago the Pacific Defense Initiative, the PDI.

The Chinese know this and have said so many times. I no longer think Blinken, Yellen, et al. have any thought of persuading them otherwise on these journeys. That only looks like their intent.Their true purpose is in the way of theatrical, and Americans are their true audience: They must make sure Americans do not understand Gina Raimondo’s efforts to punch the Chinese, well below their belts, for what they are: an uncompetitive nation’s attempts to hold back a rising economic power.

The Biden regime is buying time as it remilitarizes the western end of the Pacific.

The only people who are supposed to understand otherwise are Americans, who are not supposed to watch as Washington provokes and prosecutes Cold War II. Americans are supposed to watch as U.S. officials — reasonable, constructive, well-intended —make all efforts to talk to the Chinese in the face of their stubborn reluctance to cooperate.

This is my revised take on the Blinken–Yellen–Kerry–Raimondo cavalcade across the Pacific. These people are not clods. They are purposefully malicious and, it should go without saying, are making the world even more dangerous than it already is.

Peter Lee has just come back from a visit to China. He is reporting of of a new, someone snobby to hostile attitude towards Americans. It is justified:

After all, America and Americans are suspect for good reason.As I’ve pointed out on my twitter several times, US aggression against the PRC, misleadingly packaged as US-China tensions, is a virtual full-spectrum assault, only stopping short, for now anyway, of direct military action. The US is determined to degrade the PRC’s military, economic, and international security and domestic social and political stability in all available dimensions. Concessions are tactical; attacks are strategic.

The CCP perhaps hopes Western failure in Ukraine will slake the G7 thirst for anti-authoritarian jihad and hopes economic relations and foreign direct investment with China will recover but hope is not a plan. Not with the United States pumping hundreds of billions of dollars to finance global anti-PRC economic, military, diplomatic, political, soft power, and media initiatives.

I believe this increasingly plausible worst-case scenario is driving a lot of PRC decision-making (and drives the barrage of resentful criticism of PRC policy choices in the Western media).

Will the CCP succeed?

The product it’s pitching to its citizens and to the world—that’s multilateralism via economic engagement—is fundamentally more attractive to a lot of countries than the deficit driven global War to Save Democracy that the US is peddling. Given money, perseverance, luck, and time the PRC might be able to thread the needle.

But … there’s that “time” thing. There’s the rub.

My opinion is, if the CCP is succeeding, in other words if it shows significant progress in establishing a robust parallel international order that can shield it from US economic aggression, the US will start a hot war to see if it can truly f*ck China up.

Because the only US response to failure is escalation.

And that’s why my profile says “pessimist”.

As Peter had noted last year China’s government has for quite some time prepared for this.

Well, let’s hope that it does not come to another war.

But Peter is right. The U.S. is typically willing to double down in its aggressions.

It continues to play dirty games in Asia to get what it wants (h/t Carl Zha).

On August 24 the Defense Minister of Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto, visited the Pentagon. After the meeting the U.S. issued a:

United States DoD and Indonesia MoD Joint Press Statement

Minister Prabowo and Secretary Austin agreed that the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and the United States’ Indo-Pacific Strategy share fundamental principles, such as a commitment to maintaining peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region through ASEAN Centrality, and that we should work alongside partners who share these goals and a commitment to an open, inclusive, and rules-based order. They shared the view that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

That however has not been Indonesia’s position. China noticed that the Pentagon was lying. It protested:

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – The Chinese Embassy in Jakarta has objected to the press statement issued by the United States Department of Defense regarding the defense cooperation with Indonesia in the South China Sea. The press statement stated that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto both agreed that China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea were inconsistent with international law.”After comparing the US press statement with the press statement released by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, the sentence that accuses and corners China only appears in the US Ministry of Defense press release,” said the objection response signed by the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta, Monday (28/8/2023).”

Today the Indonesian defense minister confirmed that the U.S. ‘Joint Press Statement’ is fake (machine translation):

Jakarta, KOMPAS – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto confirmed that there was no joint statement with the US Defense Ministry when he met US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin last week. Prabowo said that Indonesia is in principle friendly to all countries and adheres to a free and active foreign policy.“Indonesia’s position is very clear. We are non-aligned. We are non-aligned, we are friendly with all countries. So I think that’s what matters, ” Prabowo said after handing over an electric trail bike for the TNI and Polri at the Ministry of Defense, Thursday (31/8).

Prabowo stressed that there was no joint statement with the US Defense Ministry. The Pentagon said in a joint statement that the two ministers shared similar views on China’s maritime claims and expansionist actions in the South China Sea. In this regard, in line with the principle of active freedom, Prabowo again emphasized that Indonesia has good relations with China, the United States and Russia.

The Pentagon’s diplomatic faux pas, issuing a ‘Joint Statement’ when none had been agreed upon, may well become costly. Indonesia and other will surely take note of it and will be prepared to loudly dismiss any recurrence.

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