Chip Wars: Tech rivalry underlines US-China trade conflict

Chinese and American officials will be trying to defuse tensions pushing the world’s two largest economies toward trade war in meetings in Beijing beginning Thursday. Analysts say that chances for a breakthrough seem slim given the two sides’ desperate rivalry in strategic technologies such as semiconductors.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is resulting a delegation of U.S. officials. Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic consultant, is heading the Chinese side in the talks.

Despite the huge U.S. trade deficit, Chinese companies are struggling to overtake western industry leaders in advanced technologies for semiconductors, the silicon brains required to run smartphones, connected automobiles, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Analysts tell Beijing is unlikely to cede any ground on policies meant to help close that gap.

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