On Security

China Looks at U.S. Tech-Limiting Measures and Sees Gunboat Diplomacy

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Nov 20, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
John Demers, U.S. assistant attorney general for national security, speaks in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1.

John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, speaks in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1 after the creation of a new initiative to crack down on Chinese intelligence officials pilfering intellectual property from U.S. corporations. New measures against China, however, are only likely to strengthen Beijing's resolve to acquire technology by any means possible.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The last Opium War ended 176 years ago, but Beijing remembers the battle well -- particularly the West's penchant for gunboat diplomacy. Memories of Western coercion and blockades have already prompted China to bolster the country's navy and take aggressive steps in the South China Sea. Beijing, however, is now preparing to respond to another type of blockade after the U.S. Commerce Department added the Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. to the list of entities facing restrictions, essentially barring the export, re-export or transfer of U.S.-origin technology, commodities or software to Fujian Jinhua without a special export license. The action against Fujian Jinhua is tantamount to a blockade on the company. Because of this, the measures are certain to provoke an emotional response among China's leaders, who will see them as an attack on China's future development – and perhaps more fundamentally – its sovereignty. And far from convincing China to...

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