U.S. Semiconductor Giant Shuts China Factory Hailed as ‘a Miracle’, in Blow to Beijing’s Chip Plans; WHO Summit Devolves Into U.S.-China Proxy Battle

By South China Morning Post. US chip giant GlobalFoundries has halted operations at a joint venture factory in China, the company has confirmed, dealing a potential blow to China’s bid to own a bigger slice of the global semiconductor market.

The closure of the firm’s only China facility comes just three years after it announced plans to make chips in the mainland, and comes amid an escalating tech war with the United States.

The winding down, however, has little to do with the fierce superpower rivalry. It comes after two years of speculation as to what was actually happening at the US$100 million facility, which was hailed as “a miracle” by local media when announced to fanfare in 2017, but which never got off the ground.

Nonetheless, the symbolism is rich. China is struggling in its efforts to boost its domestic chip research and production in a bid to counter US efforts to block it from American technology. (Read more from “U.S. Semiconductor Giant Shuts China Factory Hailed as ‘a Miracle’, in Blow to Beijing’s Chip Plans” HERE)

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WHO Summit Devolves Into U.S.-China Proxy Battle

By Politico.The United States and China hijacked the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization’s governing body, part of an ongoing diplomatic battle over Covid-19 that has left a global leadership vacuum.

Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the summit in Geneva with an announcement of $2 billion in extra funding for the pandemic response. Less than 24 hours later, President Donald Trump countered in a letter to the World Health Organization, giving it 30 days to “commit to major substantive improvements” and threatening to permanently cease U.S. funding to the U.N. public health agency if it fails to do so.

The WHO has real questions to answer about its sluggish coronavirus response — it formally declared the outbreak a pandemic only in mid-March, after the virus was known to have spread to more than 100 countries.

But the dueling carrots and sticks approaches from Beijing and Washington overshadowed global consensus on that front: At least 144 countries co-sponsored a resolution for an independent global pandemic inquiry, and no countries objected to the resolution. (Read more from “WHO Summit Devolves Into U.S.-China Proxy Battle” HERE)

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