Good evening. It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for SMIC, China’s champion chip manufacturer. Get to know the newest addition to the U.S. Entity List with our cover story this week. Elsewhere, we have Jeff Bader, a former Obama adviser, discussing what has — and hasn’t — changed in the U.S.-China relationship; an examination of China’s problems keeping women in the workforce both at SOEs and in CEO jobs; and a warning for the Biden administration from Minxin Pei that China’s climate promises might turn into a minefield.
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It’s been a rough week for SMIC, China’s giant chip manufacturer. First, MSCI, one of the largest stock index companies in the world, took SMIC off its global indices. Then, there was the abrupt resignation of SMIC’s co-CEO. And finally, on Friday, the Commerce Department announced it was adding SMIC to the U.S. Entity List, increasing sanctions on the company and upping the ante on the ongoing tech battle between the two countries. As Brent Crane reports, SMIC is China’s best hope for homegrown chips — an essential item in its quest for self-sufficiency. But given the new sanctions, will SMIC crack under the pressure?
Women work outside the home at higher rates in China than they do in the United States, and no country has more self-made female billionaires. But when it comes to women in senior leadership roles, China has a long way to go. This week, our data graphics examine gender disparities in leadership positions at listed Chinese companies and state-owned enterprises, and zooms in on some of the women who have clinched the CEO title.
When it comes to the labor force, new data shows that Chinese women are no longer holding up half the sky. The large gender gap in both state-owned enterprises and the private workforce, analysts say, limits the economy’s overall growth and promises to be an especially urgent problem for China’s aging and diminishing workforce. The Wire’s Katrina Northrop reports this week on why Chinese women have dropped out of the labor market — and why China should care.
Now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Jeff Bader spent much of his life in government service, including as senior director for East Asian affairs on the National Security Council in the early years of the Obama administration. In this week’s interview with The Wire’s David Barboza, he talks about America’s deteriorating relationship with China and the prospects for U.S.-China policy under the Biden administration.
Illustration by Kate Copeland
China’s ambitious climate pledges have drawn praise the world over. But in this week’s op-ed, Minxin Pei argues that China will demand a high price for its contributions and can be expected to use its promise of international cooperation to undermine any containment strategy that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration tries to pursue. The result, Pei argues, would be catastrophic for the climate — and it would appear to be America’s fault, undermining its position vis-à-vis China on the world stage.
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