U.S. Commerce chief Raimondo warns against threats from China

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Saturday urged lawmakers, Silicon Valley and U.S. allies to stop China from getting semiconductors and cutting-edge technologies key to national security.

Speaking at an annual national defense forum in Simi Valley, California, Raimondo called Beijing “the biggest threat we’ve ever had” and stressed “China is not our friend.”

Two of the world’s top economies are locked in a geopolitical and commercial rivalry, in which her department plays an important role.

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In October, Raimondo unveiled a series of restrictions imposed on the exports of advanced chips to China, including those which can used in development of artificial intelligence (AI). The move is to prevent Beijing using it for its military.

While the addressing the crowd, Raimondo noted the CEOs of chip companies present in the crowd and acknowledged that they might be upset with her as her move had stopped their revenue. “Such is life, protecting our national security matters more than short term revenue,” she added.