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Technological War

Beijing’s crackdown on initial public offerings by Chinese companies in the US stock market denotes a turn to hard-edged economic nationalism, signaled by President Xi Jinping’s July 6 denunciation of American “technology blockades.”

In an online address to friendly political parties around the world, Xi declared, “We must jointly oppose anyone engaging in technological blockades, technological division and decoupling of development.”

He added that no country had the right to “obstruct the development of other countries and harm their people’s lives through political manipulation.”

The Trump administration banned US investors from owning shares of 35 Chinese companies that Washington says are linked to the Chinese military. The Biden administration expanded the list to 59, which Americans must divest by August 2.

By discouraging Chinese companies from listing in the US, Beijing has said in so many words that it doesn’t need America’s capital markets to finance Chinese companies because it has plenty of capital at home.

Xi’s address “clearly establishes a position where China does not feel inferior to the US,” semiconductor industry guru Handel Jones told Asia Times. Jones is CEO of International Business Strategies, a consulting firm that advises top-level global technology companies.

In a related action, the Chinese government announced strict controls on exports of Chinese data, a critical resource for artificial intelligence applications in several industries including pharmaceuticals.

Read more at China to US: Two can play at technological war

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