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Over the past two years, China’s leading nuclear weapons research institute has been actively buying computer chips from the United States, bypassing years of export restrictions, writes The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper studied the documents of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics – the only organization in the country responsible for the development and production of nuclear weapons. The institution has been on the US black list since 1997. At the same time, according to the documents, since 2020 it has been acquiring semiconductors produced by American companies such as Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp.
The chips were bought from resellers in China as components for computing systems or for the needs of the institute’s laboratory, which deals with computational fluid dynamics (this scientific field deals, among other things, with the simulation of nuclear explosions).
The WSJ reviewed scientific papers that the institute has published over the past decade. At least 34 articles described research done using American chips. Nuclear experts interviewed by the publication believe that the findings in seven papers can be useful in maintaining the nuclear arsenal. The Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics did not respond to the newspaper’s request.
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.