Semiconductors: A Foundational Technology Caught in a Geopolitical Debate

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The discussion will look at the development and manufacturing of semiconductors, and the implications of this sector on relations between China and the world, as well as between Asian powers.

Dutch Semiconductor firm ASML's decision to extend its contract with US-sanctioned Chinese technology company SMIC – added to the Department of Defense’s list of ‘Communist Chinese military companies’ in December 2020 - turned the spotlight on transatlantic tensions over research and development cooperation with China.As a foundational technology upon which vast sectors of our modern lives are built, the manufacture and trade in semiconductors are a critical elements in the wider conversation about what kind of technological relationship the west can have with China. What differences exist between the US and Europe and what might longer-term transatlantic and international cooperation within the industry look like?

This event is organised as part of the Transatlantic Dialogue on China run by RUSI in partnership with Chatham House, with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Dialogue aims to encourage innovative thinking on how to address tensions in the transatlantic relationship over China.


Dr Ming-chin Monique Chu, Lecturer in Chinese Politics, University of Southampton

Dr Mathieu Duchatel, Director of Asia Programme, Institut Montaigne

Jan-Peter Kleinhans, Head of the Technology and Geopolitics Programme, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV)

John Lee, Senior Analyst, MERICS

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