Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Trade war hits Chinese scientists

Trade war hits Chinese scientists 2
Trade war hits Chinese scientists 2

Scientific instruments, mainly analytical or measuring equipment used in laboratories, now make up more than 40% of restricted items sold to Beijing after Washington put them on its export control list,

After the trade war between the world’s two largest economies broke out in 2018, Chinese scientists said they were finding it increasingly difficult to buy research tools from the US.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing in March 2020.

As of December last year, the number of goods listed on the US control list had increased to more than 4,500.

An artificial intelligence (AI) system has been trained on a database of detailed information about most tools and equipment used in laboratories across China.

In the past, China had limited access to certain scientific tools because of concerns they could be used for military research.

The US government `seeks every way to limit China’s access to a number of foundational and emerging technologies to restrain China’s development in scientific research and industrial production`, professor Wang Xuezhao

Scientific instruments are one of the few commercial products that are not typically made in China.

But Chinese scientists really need these tools.

Previously, Chinese civilian scientists could get their hands on most common tools.

A physicist working at China’s national quantum research base in Anhui city, Hefei province, said their laboratory ordered research equipment two years ago, but

`We tried making some tools but we couldn’t do everything ourselves,` said an anonymous scientist from a quantum research facility in Anhui.

According to Professor Wang’s research, the tools on the US export control list are not isolated, but are often related to other tools due to the same technology or application field.

Connecting these complex relationships can help reveal America’s hidden strategies, but this is truly a challenge for humans.

Research shows that at the heart of America’s export control strategy are analytical tools that use optical or electronic signals to probe an object’s structure or other properties.

One notable field that the US does not ban is measuring equipment used for medical research, possibly because Washington is completely confident in its ability to dominate in this field.

The Chinese government recently launched a series of nationwide campaigns to promote domestically produced scientific tools, as dependence on foreign supplies has become a threat to national security.

But domestically produced products are currently less accepted.

According to researchers, as of the end of 2019, China had more than 4,000 scientific instrument manufacturers, but most only produced low-to-medium-end products.

In some fields such as quantum technology where China is leading, researchers have established their own companies to manufacture their own equipment because they cannot buy it from abroad.

In Hefei, the Chinese government last year spent more than $309 million building an industrial park to mass-produce next-generation scientific instruments using quantum technology with the goal of achieving unprecedented sensitivity and precision.

However, experts assess that Chinese companies cannot catch up with Western competitors in a short time, because developing the best scientific tools requires decades of research and experience.

However, experts warn that this could lead to a division into `two scientific blocs` in the world, affecting global efforts to respond to major challenges.

`Scientific research is an area where you want to keep your knowledge private, but know that if you don’t share, you won’t know what creative and useful things others are doing.`

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