China has been going all in, pumping billions into semiconductor technology. The U.S., still reeling from the disruptions caused by the pandemic, tensions over Taiwan, and the Ukraine war, has been working overtime to throw a wrench in China’s plans.
Picture it: a ‘chip war,’ where the world’s biggest economies are going all out. The U.S. doesn’t want China to get away with the crown jewel of semiconductors, so it’s been playing the rule-maker by issuing a bunch of orders to restrict international trade with China.
Last week, a spectacular order landed, signed by none other than Joe Biden himself. After three years on the job, Biden came out swinging with an executive order that took everyone by surprise. His directive puts a tight leash on certain U.S. investments in China’s tech sector.
US’ New Order
The US has restricted investments in three key areas: semiconductors, quantum tech, and super-smart AI, and very soon, many other Western allies may follow suit.
Biden went all dramatic, declaring it a “national emergency” to handle the threat posed by countries like China making big leaps in these sensitive technologies that could play a major role in military, intelligence, surveillance, and cyber stuff.
It is almost a superhero move to slow down China’s sprint in the semiconductor race. But guess who seemed to get the biggest jolt? Canada.
You see, as soon as the U.S. issued the restrictions, Canada’s officials were reeling and buzzing around like bees. They started picking up the phone and dialing Washington to figure out what to do with this bombshell executive order from Biden.
The spokesperson for Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Audrey Champoux – a name as elegant as a swan – spilled the beans. She said the folks from her department, as well as the teams from Global Affairs and Finance, were in cahoots with their American counterparts, chatting about this executive order that’s got everyone in a tizzy.
“We’re keeping an eye on things,” she quipped, clearly signaling that they were watching this plot twist unfold.
She has asserted that Canada might put its interests first. Why is Canada so worked up, you ask? Well, turns out, they’ve got quite a soft spot for China, especially when it comes to tech stuff and telecom equipment.
Under Justin Trudeau, Canada has been sort of cozying up to China, with the liberal leadership swaying to China’s tune – maybe because they’re getting some serious cashola from Chinese investors.
Here’s the thing: Canada is supposed to be in cahoots with the U.S. to put the brakes on China’s rise to the semiconductor throne. But Trudeau, well, he seems to be acting like he’s wearing China-colored glasses, all riled up about Biden’s order acting almost like a Chines spokesman.
The world stage has been transformed by semiconductors into the Wild West, and Trudeau now resembles a deer caught in the headlights of Biden’s executive order.
But, this unease, also provides a tantalizing glimpse into the complex relationship that connects technology, international power relations, and the never-ending quest for dominance in our digital age. Canada needs to evaluate its foreign policy objectively and impartially.