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Kusu News 4-Aug-2022

US considers crackdown on memory chip manufacturers in China

1-Aug-2022 Europe Times News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering restricting shipments of US chip-making equipment to memory chip manufacturers in China, including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), according to four people familiar with the matter, as part of an effort to halt China’s semiconductor industry progress and protect US companies.

If President Joe Biden’s administration goes through with the move, it could also harm South Korean memory chip juggernauts Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix Inc, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Samsung has two major factories in China, while SK Hynix Inc is buying Intel Corp’s NAND flash memory chip manufacturing operations in China.

The crackdown, if approved, would block shipments of U.S. chip-making equipment to factories in China that produce advanced NAND chips.

It would be the first US bid through export controls to target Chinese production of memory chips without specialized military applications, which export control experts say represents a broader picture of US national security.

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Blocking China’s path: The rise of “Made In Vietnam”

31-Jul-2022 The Business Times

HEADLINES such as “Vietnam’s exports overtake Shenzhen” and “Is Vietnam the next China?” have drawn attention in China’s media and online forums, reflecting anxiety that Vietnam might usurp China’s position as the world’s factory.

Western media, meanwhile, have focused on how China’s zero-Covid policy has caused orders to be diverted to Vietnam. In a June report by German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung with the eye-catching headline “Goodbye China, Hello Vietnam”, one manufacturer said: “Vietnam seems to be a better and cheaper China.”

In the second quarter of 2022, Vietnam’s exports rose 21 per cent year on year and economic growth hit an 11-year high of 7.7 per cent. The country has emerged from last year’s slump, when lockdowns in several cities – including the capital Hanoi – caused gross domestic product (GDP) to shrink 6.2 per cent in the third quarter.

After Vietnam’s government pushed mass vaccination in a bid to coexist with the virus, the full resumption of factory operations and border reopening enabled a rapid rebound. The contrast with China’s zero-Covid stance propelled Vietnam into the spotlight, with some international media hailing it as the new “Super Factory”.

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How Singapore is turning multi-storey car parks into farms

29-Jul-2022 BBC

Eyleen Goh runs a farm from the top deck of a car park in Singapore.

And this is not a small operation - it supplies nearby retailers with up to 400kg of vegetables a day, she says.

"Singapore is quite small but we have many car parks. It is pretty much the dream to have farms [here] to meet the needs of residents in the community," she says.

At least a dozen of these rooftop farms have now sprouted up across the South East Asian city state.

The government started leasing out the unusual plots in 2020 as part of its plans to increase local food production. The country of 5.5m people currently imports more than 90% of its food.

But space in this densely populated island nation is scarce and that means land is not cheap. Singapore has some of the world's most expensive property.

One farmer told the BBC that the high cost of his first car park plot meant that he had to give it up and move to a cheaper location.

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As U.S. Defends Ukraine at U.N., China Warns Against Challenge Over Taiwan

29-Jul-2022 US News

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -China accused the United States of double standards at the United Nations on Friday for challenging Beijing's sovereignty over Taiwan while emphasizing the principle of sovereignty for Ukraine after Russian forces invaded.

A day after Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned U.S. President Joe Biden in a phone call against playing with fire over Taiwan, deputy U.N. Ambassador Geng Shuang reinforced the message during a meeting on Ukraine at the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

"While some country has repeatedly emphasized the principle of sovereignty over the issue of Ukraine, it has incessantly challenged the sovereignty of China over Taiwan, and even deliberately created tension in the Taiwan Strait," Geng said, a clear reference to the United States without naming it.

Russia describes its Feb. 24 invasion of neighboring Ukraine as a "special military operation" to root out dangerous nationalists, but Kyiv and the West say it is an unprovoked war of aggression.

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Pelosi’s Taiwan trip left White House scrambling to deal with fallout

4-Aug-2022 The Japan Times

Before U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei for a controversial meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, the White House was careful not to weigh in on the trip, stressing that the speaker of the House makes her own decisions.

But behind the scenes, officials in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration were fuming at her insistence on using the trip as a capstone for her career at a moment of highly delicate relations with Beijing.

In an effort to quietly persuade Pelosi to delay the visit, the White House dispatched senior members of the National Security Council (NSC), as well as State Department officials, to brief the speaker and her team on the geopolitical risks, people familiar with the conversations said.

When it became clear Pelosi could not be swayed, the administration instead planned for contingencies, setting up a scramble to ensure backchannels with Beijing were functioning and that any fallout could be minimized.

That included meetings between U.S. officials and their counterparts at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, people familiar with the matter said. They were granted anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.

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US, Indonesia Hold Joint Military Drills Amid China Concerns

4-Aug-2022 The Diplomat

The United States and Indonesian militaries began annual joint combat exercises Wednesday on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, joined for the first time by participants from several new partner nations, signaling stronger ties amid growing maritime activity by China in the Indo-Pacific region.

More than 5,000 soldiers from 14 countries were participating in this year’s Super Garuda Shield exercises, making them the largest since the drills were established in 2009. Australia, Japan, and Singapore were joining for the first time, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement. Along with Indonesia and the U.S., “Other participating nations include Canada, France, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and the United Kingdom,” the statement added.

The exercises are designed to strengthen interoperability, capability, trust, and cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, the embassy said.

“It’s a symbol of the U.S.-Indonesia bond and the growing relationship between land forces in this consequential region,” Gen. Charles Flynn, Commanding General of U.S. Army Pacific, said in the statement. “Because land forces are the glue that binds the region’s security architecture together.”

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