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Taiwan poised to block tech exports to Russia over Ukraine invasion

Biden administration looking for lessons in Ukraine for Chinese invasion of Taiwan

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(Twitter, Clotilde Waltz image)

(Twitter, Clotilde Waltz image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has joined Japan and Singapore in backing U.S. President Joe Biden's plan to impose extreme export controls on technology on Russia if it goes ahead with a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine.

As Russia sends troops into the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, Biden is coordinating with tech players Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore in devising a wide spectrum of sanctions and export restrictions against Moscow. According to three sources who spoke to Foreign Policy, the three Asian countries are working with the U.S. on preparing export bans on semiconductors, computer chips, and other high-end tech products to Russia.

The strategy is reportedly modeled after U.S. sanctions against China's Huawei. In the case of Huawei, the U.S. used the Foreign Direct Product Rule (FDPR) to regulate and restrict many of Huawei's components even if they did not originate in the U.S. as long as they were produced with U.S.-regulated technology or software, leading to a 30% drop in revenue for the Chinese company in 2021.

According to Foreign Policy, the Biden administration would use the FDPR to target multiple sectors of Russia's economy, including technology vital to its oil and gas industries, defense, civil aviation, imported cars, smartphones, and consumer electronics. It cited Kevin Wolf, a former senior Commerce Department official, as pointing out that "All semiconductors on the planet are made with U.S. software or tools in part, so this will catch any destined to Russia."

Sources told Foreign Policy that Asian allies of the U.S. have expressed concerns that China could use Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a blueprint for dealing with Taiwan. In response, top officials within the Biden administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, are reportedly already seeking to learn lessons from the crisis in Ukraine that could be applied to a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan.