US Betrayed: Japan Profiting Abundantly from Chip Trade with China

February 22, 2024

US Betrayed: Japan Profiting Abundantly from Chip Trade with China

According to a report from Nikkei Asia on February 21, Japan’s exports to China showed a consecutive second-month increase in January. Of particular note, there was a significant growth of 27.5% in the export of chip manufacturing equipment.

The report underscores how the trade restrictions imposed by the United States have unexpectedly stimulated Japan’s chip industry’s business with China. Both the Japanese and Dutch governments have followed the lead of the US by implementing controls on the export of high-end chips to China, which spurred the Chinese government to make vigorous efforts to promote the growth of its domestic chip industry. With the need for chip manufacturing equipment soaring in China, Japanese companies seized the opportunity.

“The notable surge in Japan’s exports to China indicates that Japanese businesses are opting not to align with the decoupling measures pursued by the US.” Zhang Jifeng, a former vice director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, highlights the significance of major traded commodities between China and Japan, including chips and the automobile industry.

In a white paper released by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China in January, it was revealed that over half of the surveyed Japanese companies increased or maintained their investments in China last year. This finding underscores the resilience of the Chinese market.

Zhang further emphasizes that strengthening bilateral economic and trade cooperation aligns with the fundamental interests of the people in both countries.


After Sora, China Official to Boost AI Development

OpenAI’s text-to-video model Sora sparked global excitement upon its release. A few days later, a meeting of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) on AI development was held, emphasizing the need for SOEs to play a leading role in the country’s AI drive.

It’s not the first time SASAC has put particular focus on AI this year. At a State Council Information Office press conference in January, SASAC Secretary General and Spokesperson Zhuang Shuxin introduced that the regulator will plan and promote a batch of major projects, select “100 Projects” in strategic emerging industries, build strategic emerging industry clusters, and implement special actions like “AI+.”

One key goal of China’s AI development plans is to address the computing power foundation issue, i.e., AI chip clusters. Secondly, there is an emphasis on AI empowerment across industries – a clear and direct approach that, combined with China’s national conditions, differs from the U.S. AI direction. In 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued guidelines on future industrial layouts, including general AI, brain-computer interfaces, humanoid robots, and the metaverse.

It is worth noting that just days ago, insiders reported that relevant Chinese authorities had already convened meetings to study and discuss it.


Mainland Demands Full Accounting from Taiwan Over Fishermen Deaths

A spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has sternly demanded that Taiwanese authorities quickly reveal the full truth and properly account for the deaths of two mainland Chinese fishermen earlier this month.

The incident occurred on February 14, when a mainland fishing boat was violently rammed and capsized by Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels off the island, resulting in fatalities.

After the tragedy, Taiwanese officials claimed their personnel acted appropriately during the “law enforcement” operation, attempting to cover up their violent actions. Some on the island also made arrogant remarks downplaying the incident, the spokesman Zhu Fenglian said.

It was only under immense pressure from people across the Taiwan Strait and the victims’ families that the Taiwanese side finally admitted the boat collision and capsizing led to the casualties. However, they continue making excuses to shirk responsibility and obscure the truth about what transpired, Zhu added.

Stressing that the loss of life discloses the facts just and properly, Zhu said, “We sternly demand the Taiwan authorities quickly reveal the real truth, severely punish those responsible, meet the reasonable demands of the victims’ families, sincerely apologize to the families and compatriots across the Strait, and provide a full accounting.”

China will firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of its compatriots and not allow such incidents to happen again, the spokesman emphasized.

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