US Commerce chief warns against China 'threat'

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Saturday urged lawmakers, Silicon Valley and US allies to stop China from getting semiconductors and cutting-edge technologies key to national security.

Speaking at an annual national defense forum in Simi Valley, California, Raimondo called Beijing "the biggest threat we've ever had" and stressed "China is not our friend."

The world's top two economies are locked in a fierce commercial and geopolitical rivalry, in which her department plays a leading role.

In October, Raimondo unveiled a series of  restrictions on the export of advanced chips to China, including those used in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), to prevent their use by Beijing for its military.

"I know there are CEOs of chip companies in this audience who were a little cranky with me when I did that, because you're losing revenue. Such is life, protecting our national security matters more than short term revenue."

"Newsflash: democracy is good for your businesses. Rule of law here and around the world is good for your businesses," she said.