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US Ban on Investment Not Good For AI Sector, China Says

US backs a UN resolution aimed at boosting international cooperation on AI capacity-building, but China’s envoy says America’s ban on AI investment in China is problematic

An illustration to depict artificial intelligence and related technology development by China
The American intelligence community, think tanks and academics are concerned about risks posed by 'foreign bad actors' gaining access to advanced AI capabilities. Photo: Freepik; edited by Aarushi Agrawal.


The United States’ move to restrict investment in artificial intelligence in China is not helpful to “healthy development” of AI technology, according to China’s UN envoy.

UN Ambassador Fu Cong said on Monday the US move would be divisive when it comes to global governance. He made the remarks after the 193-member UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a Chinese-drafted resolution aimed at boosting international cooperation on AI capacity-building.

The resolution, which was supported by the US, urges wealthy nations to support developing nations so they have equal opportunities to use and benefit from the use of artificial intelligence.


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The UN resolution calls on the international community to “provide and promote a fair, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory business environment across the life cycle of safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems.”

China UN envoy Fu Cong (Reuters).

The Chinese envoy’s remarks follow the US issuing draft rules last month for banning or requiring notification of certain investments in artificial intelligence and other technology sectors in China that could threaten US national security.

“We are firmly opposed to these sanctions,” Fu Cong told reporters.

Fu said the US actions do not foster an inclusive business environment and he urged Washington to reverse its decision.

“We don’t believe that the US government’s position or decision will be helpful to the healthy development of the AI technology, per se, and will – by extension – divide the world in terms of the standards and in terms of the rules governing the AI,” he said.

The US Treasury Department published the proposed rules after US President Joe Biden signed an executive order last August as part of a broader push to prevent US know-how from helping the Chinese to develop sophisticated technology and dominate global markets.


Proposed US rule; China’s standards plan

Meanwhile, some details emerged on Monday (July 1) about the Biden administration’s proposed rule on outbound investments in China.

Davis Polk, a law firm based in New York, said the proposed rule would prohibit or impose notification requirements on investments by US citizens and entities they control in companies based in China, or owned by Chinese interests. It would target activities in chips and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, plus certain AI applications.

In related news, China’s industry ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that officials will develop more than 50 new national and industrial standards by 2026.

The goal is part of the guidelines the ministry issued on standardising systems for the artificial intelligence sector.


  • Reuters with additional input and editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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