US tech bill that hampers China's growth slammed

China's national legislature voiced its strong dissatisfaction with and opposition to the US Senate's approval of "the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021."

China has denounced a US bill intended to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology, calling it a thinly veiled attack on China's political system and an attempt to hinder its development.

The foreign affairs committee of China's national legislature on Wednesday voiced its strong dissatisfaction with and opposition to the US Senate's approval of "the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021."

The bill, full of ideological prejudice and driven by a Cold War mentality, smears and slanders China's development path and foreign and domestic policies, interferes in China's internal affairs and attempts to contain China's development under the banner of "innovation and competition," the committee said in a statement.

The US Senate voted 68-32 on Tuesday to approve the package of legislation authorizing about US$190 billion for provisions to strengthen US technology and research. It would separately approve spending US$54 billion to increase US production and research into semiconductors and telecommunications equipment, including US$2 billion dedicated to chips used by automakers that have seen massive shortages and made significant production cuts.

China's legislature said the bill attempts to maintain the US global hegemony by fanning the so-called China threat, to interfere in China's internal affairs on the pretext of human rights and religion, and to take away China's legitimate right to development by means of "decoupling" in the scientific, technological and economic areas.

The bill shows that the paranoid delusion of seeking unilateral dominance has distorted the purpose of innovation and competition, the statement noted.

The world is entering a period of turbulence and transformation, and against this backdrop, the practice of continuously targeting China as a hypothetical enemy goes against the world trend, is unpopular and is doomed to fail, it said.

The bill must pass the House of Representatives to be sent to the White House for US President Joe Biden to sign into law. It is not clear what legislation in the House will look like or when it might take it up.

The bill has a number of other China-related provisions including prohibiting the social media app TikTok from being downloaded on government devices, and would block the purchase of drones manufactured and sold by companies backed by the Chinese government. It includes provisions expressing support for Taiwan, references to Hong Kong, and criticism of Chinese policy in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The bill would also create broad new mandatory sanctions on Chinese entities "engaged in US cyberattacks or theft of US intellectual property from US firms," and provides for a review of export controls on items that "could be used to support human rights abuses."

Stressing that the Taiwan question concerns China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity and concerns China's core interests, the statement said the Taiwan-related articles of the bill severely violate the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques.

"We resolutely oppose any official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan," the statement said. "Issues related to Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are purely China's internal affairs that allow no foreign interference."

The bill's passage comes days after Biden expanded a list of Chinese companies whose shares are off-limits to American investors.

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