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US approves nearly ALL tech exports to China and is increasing sales, according to Commerce data

All sides in Washington agree that China is the country’s most troubling competitor and that national security concerns mean it cannot be trusted with technical secrets.

Still, the Commerce Department’s security measures do not appear to restrict exports and have been accompanied by an increase in sales of some key technologies, according to an analysis of data released Tuesday.

The results will raise questions about whether the Biden administration is doing enough to address the threat posed by Beijing’s technological advancements and its brawny foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Analysis of data from the trade department by the Wall Street Journalfound that of the roughly $125 billion in exports to China, officials required a license for less than half of a percent.

And about 94 percent of those applications were approved—a total of some 2,652 permits.

Details emerged at a time of heightened concern about Beijing’s regional ambitions. It announced another round of military exercises near Taiwan when another US congressional delegation visited the autonomous island, two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked anger with her own trip.

Pelosi’s visit led to nearly two weeks of Chinese exercises, including the firing of rockets over the island.

Trade licensing analysis shows Gina Ramondo's trade department approves nearly all exports to China, despite safeguards to prevent key defense technology from falling into Beijing's hands as it ramps up its military stance

Trade licensing analysis shows Gina Ramondo’s trade department approves nearly all exports to China, despite safeguards to prevent key defense technology from falling into Beijing’s hands as it ramps up its military stance

A Chinese J-11 military fighter jet flies over the Taiwan Strait near Pingtan, the closest mainland China country to the island of Taiwan, after Nancy Pelosi visited the autonomous island

A Chinese J-11 military fighter jet flies over the Taiwan Strait near Pingtan, the closest mainland China country to the island of Taiwan, after Nancy Pelosi visited the autonomous island

Amphibious armored vehicles under China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command participate in assault wave formation training in Zhangzhou on Sunday

Amphibious armored vehicles under China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command participate in assault wave formation training in Zhangzhou on Sunday

The ongoing trade in aerospace components, artificial intelligence technology and semiconductors will alarm those who accuse Washington of not taking the threat seriously.

And it puts an otherwise obscure licensing process at the heart of discussions about how much trade the US should have with China.

Steve Coonen, the Pentagon’s former top analyst on export controls in China, summed up his frustration in an email he sent to his colleagues after he resigned last year.

“I have no problem trading or feeding China,” he wrote. “I have a huge problem arming China.”

Some officials warn that shutting down Beijing will make little difference, as it would simply push China into the arms of other suppliers.

Either way, the policy needs clarity, said Mira Ricardel, a former Trump Administration of Commerce official responsible for export controls.

“What we don’t have is a consensus in the US government about what the economic relationship should be,” she told the paper.

“There are people who say, ‘No, no, no, we can’t send China anything’, but that’s not the policy.”

Some have criticized the role of the Commerce Department and its Bureau of Industry and Security, questioning whether it can control exports while trying to promote U.S. business abroad.

A billboard in Taipei welcomed Speaker Pelosi to the island as Taiwanese expressed their support

A billboard in Taipei welcomed Speaker Pelosi to the island as Taiwanese expressed their support

That issue was reportedly raised in the White House situation room by Matt Pottinger, one of the first to raise the issue in the Trump administration.

But Thea D. Rozman Kendler, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, said, “We are promoting US technology leadership. And to do that, we need to understand US technology leadership.

“The best place to get that information is with the industry.

Last year, several high-ranking Pentagon figures quit after raising the alarm about China making the US leap forward in military technology.

Nicolas Chaillan told the Financial times he left because of the slow pace of technological transformation in the US armed forces.

“We won’t have a competitive chance against China in 15 to 20 years. At this point, it’s already a foregone conclusion; it’s over in my opinion,” said Chaillan, who spent three years on a Pentagon-wide effort to improve cybersecurity.

He said Beijing was moving towards global dominance because of advances in artificial intelligence, cyber capabilities and machine learning.

Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping

President Joe Biden

Chinese officials are reportedly working on plans for a face-to-face meeting between Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden on the sidelines of summits in Southeast Asia in November

Meanwhile, it emerged last week that the first meeting between President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping could take place in November on the sidelines of an international summit in Asia, according to those familiar with planning.

Details emerged on Thursday at a time of intense tension between the two countries, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week.

Beijing responded with bellicose rhetoric and firefights with military exercises around the autonomous island.

Now, Chinese officials are reportedly making plans for Xi to visit Southeast Asia in what would be his first international trip in three years, where he would have his first face-to-face meeting with Biden since the US president took office.

Officials involved in the preparations told the Wall Street Journal that the 69-year-old Chinese leader will attend his party congress in the fall — where he is expected to break the precedent and claim a third term as prime minister.

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