Assistant Secretary of Commerce Thea Kendler has stated that measures to deprive Chinese companies of access to advanced U.S. technology will tighten rather than be eased.

She told Nikkei Asia on Sunday, April 3, “As much as the Russia crisis has occupied us these last couple of months, we have not diverted from our other national security priorities, and the modernization of China’s military is the national security priority for us.”

Kendler continued, “I do anticipate that we will put additional companies on the entity list, whether they’re from China or elsewhere.”

The report said that Washington has been watching Beijing’s investment and progress in the chip-making industry, which seeks to distance its dependence on foreign suppliers and become self-sufficient.

The U.S. blacklisted China’s top producer Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) in late 2020 over concerns about its link to the military. Yet, lawmakers noted the measure still contained loopholes that needed to be swiftly closed.

Kendler said, “Export controls are very nimble. We don’t take anything off the table. It’s always possible. By having SMIC on the entity list, we are able to scrutinize individual transactions and I think that that gives us a great deal of insight into what they are trying to acquire and from whom.”

Besides the current export controls, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission last year contended an inadequate attention on emerging emerging and foundational technologies.

To this, Kendler said, “We have been casting a wide net consistently, over time, to try to identify emerging technologies. And we continue to do that now that the Congress has explicitly put that in our statute, as well.”

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