China uses American technology in its nuclear industry. Documents reveal

Bypassing decades-old US export restrictions, he bought China’s largest nuclear weapons research institute advanced computer chips from the United States at least twelve times in the past two and a half years.

Procurement documents reveal that the state-run China Academy of Engineering Physics has been able to obtain semiconductors made by US companies such as Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp since 2020 despite being placed on a US export blacklist in 1997, according to the Wall Street Journal. Street Journal”.

The chips, which are widely used in data centers and personal computers, were obtained from vendors in China.

Some were also purchased as components for computing systems, many of which were purchased by the Institute’s Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, a broad scientific field that includes modeling nuclear explosions.

These purchases defy long-standing US restrictions aimed at preventing any US products from being used for atomic weapons research by foreign powers.

Black list

The academy, known as CAEP, was one of the first Chinese institutions to be blacklisted by the United States, known as the Entity List, because of its nuclear work.

In addition, a regular review of research papers published by CAEP found that at least 34 over the past decade cited the use of US semiconductors in research.

Chinese Navy (Reuters)

Chinese Navy (Reuters)

This technique has been used in several ways, including data analysis and algorithm creation.

Electronic chips are difficult for China to produce

While the sizes of most of the chips purchased by the Academy ranged from 7 nanometers to 14 nanometers, as it is difficult for China to produce many of them in large quantities.

And they’re widely available on the open market: Intel’s Xeon Gold and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX versions can be purchased on Taobao, one of China’s largest e-commerce marketplaces. The purchases did not include the latest generation of chips launched in the past two years.

Chinese People's Liberation Army (AFP)

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (AFP)

The findings underscore the challenge facing the Biden administration as it seeks to more aggressively counter the use of US technology by the Chinese military.

In October 2022, the United States expanded export regulations to block China’s access to the most advanced American chips and chipmaking tools that support artificial intelligence and supercomputers, which are increasingly important to modern warfare.

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