China is going on the offensive, filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization over US efforts to sanction its semiconductor industry.
The US has been working to strangle China’s semiconductor industry, isolating the country and limiting its access to advanced technologies. The effort has been largely successful, with some analysts saying US sanctions have “collapsed” China’s chip industry.
According to Ars Technica, China is firing back with a WTO complaint, alleging it was necessary to protect its “legitimate rights and interests.” The timing of the complaint is a bit of a two-edged sword, however, both helping and hurting China simultaneously.
One the one hand, the WTO complaint comes a day after the body ruled that Washington was not justified in its position regarding 2018 steel tariffs against China. On the other hand, the body that would normally mediate these kind of disputes has been suspended, as a result of disagreements among the member states that comprise it. As a result, there is unlikely to be any real action resulting from China’s complaint.
Whatever the outcome, China’s willingness to file the complaint indicates an escalation in the trade and tech war between the two countries.