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This Week, China’s Shadow Casts a Long Shadow Over the US

This week has seen a particularly clear manifestation of China’s influence over the US.

And that was before the reportedly tense phone call with US President Joe Biden on Thursday that lasted more than two hours and during which Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Biden that “if you play with fire you get burned” when it comes to Taiwan.
Direct tension is present in some instances.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential trip to Taiwan, an island with 24 million people that China considers to be its own territory but which has long been a self-governing democracy, is raising tensions.

Pelosi has been forewarned of the dangers of the trip by US officials, including the possibility of inciting China to take action against Taiwan.

When Pelosi will visit and whether the trip will take place are still unknown. Since then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997, she would be the most senior lawmaker to travel.
In the South China Sea, the US Navy redeployed ships.

According to Reuters, a US aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, and its strike group have just returned from a port call in Singapore in light of Pelosi’s potential visit.

China’s approach to Taiwan has become more aggressive. According to CNN’s Kevin Liptak, who covered the tense hour-long conversation between Biden and Xi, Taiwan has become a major point of contention between the two nations “as US officials fear a more imminent Chinese move on the self-governing island.”

When he said that the US would react “militarily” if China attacked Taiwan back in May, while travelling through Asia, Biden appeared to speak for the US government.


Although the US does not formally recognize Taiwan’s government, it does sell Taiwan defensive weapons as part of a long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity,” in which the US is evasive about whether it would defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion.

Tech espionage “watershed” warning. An elaborate garden at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, that the Chinese government had planned to fund, according to a recent CNN report, was cancelled because US officials were concerned it might interfere with communications between the US nuclear arsenal.

The Chinese government’s espionage activity has dramatically increased, according to US officials pursuing autonomy in semiconductors.

The realization that the US tech sector should be able to operate and produce more independently from supply chains rooted in China was a major factor in the development of a rare bipartisan agreement to subsidize semiconductor production in the country.

On Thursday, the bill received support from both parties in the House and is now on its way to Biden’s desk for his signature.

“We would have a serious economic and, ultimately, a national security issue on our hands,” Biden said on Tuesday from the White House when advocating for the legislation. “Should China decide to withhold its production or inhibit Taiwan from exporting its chips or building them.”

Encouraging independence from fossil fuels. Before announcing a deal for a different, broader bill, which they’ll try to pass even without help from Republicans, Democrats waited until the semiconductor legislation was on a glide path to passage with bipartisan support.

However, the agreement made on Wednesday by Senate Democrats for a bill addressing both health care and climate change is intended, in part, to strengthen the US renewable energy sector and reduce its reliance on resources held by China.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia bought into the agreement, making it possible. He claimed on a local radio program that the bill would aid in the US’s development of electric vehicle batteries.

Instead of relying on rogue nations and those who are harming us or want to harm us, he said, “We rely on ourselves, Canada, Australia, and our favoured nations.”

Trump-era tariffs might be lifted by Biden. Biden’s failure to date to reverse tariffs that former President Donald Trump imposed on China is one puzzle in his approach to economic policy.

Despite Liptak’s report that the tariffs weren’t anticipated to be the main topic of conversation between him and Xi, Biden is reportedly considering the matter.

Even though removing the tariffs might not be politically popular at first glance, it could help reduce some of the inflation that has overtaken other concerns among American voters on the average voter’s dinner table.

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China, which continues to be a significant global producer of a variety of goods, including iPhones, is a problem for more than just the US government. Large multinational corporations, in this case, Apple, are having difficulty leaving China, according to a must-read article by CNN’s Rishi Iyengar.

Iyengar cited Apple CEO Tim Cook’s warning that the company could lose $8 billion the following quarter due to supply chain bottlenecks brought on by China’s continuing strict measures to halt the spread of Covid-19.

“Without a doubt, China is not the ideal location for tech manufacturing. They want to be able to serve customers more effectively, but they cannot afford the risk of ongoing supply disruption “According to Lisa Anderson, CEO of the supply chain consultancy LMA Consulting Group, Iyengar.

That being said, replicating China’s scale will be difficult, so the transition will take time and money.

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