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Seoul blasts Biden administration's sci-tech scattershot

By LI YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-05-26 08:30

Semiconductor chips are seen on a printed circuit board in this illustration picture taken Feb 17, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

According to the proposed "guardrail" rules for the CHIPS Act issued by the US Commerce Department on March 21, companies receiving US subsidies will have to return the entire funding if they engage in significant transactions involving the material expansion of semiconductor manufacturing capacity in some foreign countries including China.

Reportedly, the Republic of Korea government is urging Washington to review those "guardrail "rules, worrying that they will restrict the operations of some of its enterprises in China.

According to the rules, the US government is demanding that ROK chip companies receiving its subsidies do not build new facilities in China or some other countries on its blacklist that exceed five percent of their existing production capacity.

Seoul thinks that the rules are placing an unreasonable burden on related ROK companies investing in China, demanding that the ceiling should be raised to 10 percent at least.

Although the ROK government declined to comment on the matter to avoid offending Washington, it is a clear sign that it wants ROK semiconductor giants such as Samsung and SK to further expand their semiconductor production in China while receiving US subsidies.

In its pursuit of primacy, the US is overstretching the concept of national security, abusing export control measures, and fragmenting the industrial chains at the expense of countries such as the ROK.

The "guardrails" to be built by the US are sci-tech blockade measures and protectionist in nature that will impede the world's economic recovery and development, as Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular news conference in Beijing in March. The US' attempts to preserve its sci-tech primacy at the expense of normal international economic cooperation will only backfire.

The ROK, along with other parties affected by the US' "guardrails", should proceed from its own long-term interests and in the interest of a fair and equitable marketplace, abide by international economic and trade rules, work with China to jointly safeguard the stability of global industrial and supply chains and defend the shared interests of all parties.

Containment and suppression cannot hold back China's development. Instead, it will only strengthen China's resolve and capability to seek self-reliance and technological innovation.

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