Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

US $170bn hi-tech bill raises China’s hackles

The industrial policy bill is full of Cold War mentality and ideologica­l prejudice, says Beijing in response to US move

- Agencies

BEIJING/WASHINGTON: Beijing on Wednesday accused Washington of “paranoid delusion” after the US Senate passed a sweeping industrial policy bill aimed at countering the surging economic threat from China.

America’s political parties overcame partisan divisions to support pumping more than $170 billion into research and developmen­t, one of the most significan­t achievemen­ts in Congress since Joe Biden’s presidency began in January.

The United States Innovation and Competitio­n Act represents the largest investment in scientific research and technologi­cal innovation “in generation­s”, according to Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer.

“We are in a competitio­n to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off,” Biden said. “As other countries continue to invest in their own research and developmen­t, we cannot risk falling behind.”

The bill is seen as crucial for US efforts to avoid being outmanoeuv­ered by Beijing as the adversarie­s compete in the race for technologi­cal innovation.

“The bill shows that the paranoid delusion of egoism has distorted the original intention of innovation and competitio­n,” said the National People’s Congress foreign affairs committee, according to a report by the Xinhua news agency.

It said the bill was “full of Cold War mentality and ideologica­l prejudice”.

The bill now heads to the US House of Representa­tives.

“Today, the Senate took a critical bipartisan step forward to make the investment­s we need to continue America’s legacy as a global leader in innovation,” US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo said, praising the passage of the bill. “This funding isn’t just about addressing the current semiconduc­tor chip shortage, it is about long-term investment­s,” she said.

Schumer called the measure “one of the most important things this chamber has done in a very long time, a statement of faith in America’s ability to seize the opportunit­ies of the 21st century”.


The bill allocates $52 billion in funding for a previously approved plan to increase domestic manufactur­ing of semiconduc­tors.

It also authorises $120 billion over five years for activities at the National Science Foundation to advance priorities including research and developmen­t in key areas such as artificial intelligen­ce and quantum science. And it facilitate­s tie-ups between private firms and research universiti­es.

“This is an opportunit­y for the United States to strike a blow on behalf of answering the unfair competitio­n that we are seeing from communist China,” said Republican Senator Roger Wicker, one of the main co-sponsors of the effort.

Whichever countries best harness technologi­es like artificial intelligen­ce, robotics and quantum computing will be able to shape innovation to its image, added Schumer, before criticisin­g Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A summary of the Senate legislatio­n notes how China is “aggressive­ly investing over $150 billion” in semiconduc­tor manufactur­ing in order to control the advanced technology.

‘China responsibl­e for its own diplomatic woes’

China has only itself to blame for a global backlash against its policies, the White House’s top official for Asia said.

“Over the last year or two the country that has done the most to create problems for China is not the United States but China,” Kurt Campbell, the US coordinato­r for Indo-pacific affairs on the National Security Council said on Tuesday at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security.

Campbell said the Chinese foreign policy establishm­ent understand­s that the country’s policies, which include militarisi­ng artificial islands and outcroppin­gs in the South China Sea and a more assertive approach to global diplomacy, have helped to cause a global backlash against Beijing.

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