In a sign of growing strains between the world’s two biggest powers, President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that would block and regulate high-tech U.S.-based investments going toward China. It covers advanced computer chips, micro electronics, quantum information technologies and artificial intelligence.
Senior administration officials said that the effort stemmed from national security goals, rather than economic interests and that the categories it covered were narrow in scope. The order seeks to blunt China’s ability to use U.S. investments in its technology companies to upgrade its military while also preserving broader levels of trade that are vital for both nations’ economies.
The United States and China appear to be increasingly locked in a geopolitical competition, along with their deep trade relationship as the world’s two largest economies. Biden administration officials have insisted that they have no interest in “decoupling” from China, yet the U.S. has limited the export of advanced computer chips, sought to limit investments into China and kept the expanded tariffs set up by President Donald Trump.