Here at our CUSEF blog, we share news, updates and stories about China and the United States. We provide more than a cursory glimpse of what’s going on between the two powers - here, we offer an in-depth look into their current state of affairs.

CUSEF Express

CUSEF Express - Aug 2, 2022

2022-08-02
Daily highlights of developments that affect China and the U.S.
Daily highlights of developments that affect China and the U.S.

Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan

  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan tonight and meet with the island’s leader Tsai Ing-wen Wednesday morning. But everything could change in the coming hours. The forces in Taiwan are scrambling to prepare for possible emergencies. This morning, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport got a threatening letter against Pelosi’s landing. The letter warned of three explosives in the busiest airport on the island.
  • Last night, China announced four-day military drills in the South China Sea near the Hainan island from today to August 6. Entry is prohibited in the area during the period. Pelosi’s plane does not need to fly over the area to arrive in Taiwan. But the drills would keep the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) highly alert throughout the later part of her trip to Asia.
  • If Pelosi goes to Taiwan, military actions would be inevitable for Beijing. It is the only way not to disappoint people whose pro-unification sentiment has been stirred up by recent messages from the state. But any death or injury, no matter which side, would cause much trouble for China. Such accidents would narrow China’s choices of avoiding a war, a situation Beijing would least like to be trapped in, especially before becoming developed.
  • Beijing could allow Pelosi to land in Taiwan if it is confident that it can turn the crisis into an advantage; that is, helping its plan of reunification. However, preventing the plane from the landing is no easier option. It would be highly challenging to avoid direct conflicts if the PLA tries to warn off Pelosi.
  • If military conflicts happen, the uncertainty in the South China Sea, rather than the battles around Taiwan, should be something that worries China more. The vast open waters of the South China Sea expose China to more challenges of defense and complicated international relations. Also, China would expect more economic sanctions to follow, including those on food and energy.
  • All these risks would only push China toward Russia and strengthen their “back-to-back” relationship, a rather unwanted scenario for the U.S.

U.S. mulls crackdown on Chinese chipmakers

  • The U.S. is considering tightening the exports of chipmaking equipment to Chinese semiconductor companies, media reported. Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC, 长江存储), the first Chinese mass producer of 3D NAND chips, is among the targets of the policy. A NAND flash is an efficient data storage medium widely used in smartphones, computers, digital advertising panels, and traffic lights. The 3D NAND chips provide better performance than 2D NAND chips with competitive prices. The move partly aims to protect U.S.’s Western Digital Corp and Micron Technology Inc, which together account for 1/4 of the NAND chips market.


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