Washington: China's nuclear weapons research institute managed to buy the United States chips at least a dozen times in the past two and a half years, despite decades-old American export restrictions, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The report of Wall Street Journal revealed that China had ignored the decades-old American export restrictions that were supposed to curb such sales and found a way around them.

The report found that the state-run China Academy of Engineering Physics has managed to obtain the semiconductors that were made by the US companies such as Intel Corporation and Nvidia Corp since 2020 despite its placement on America's export blacklist in 1997.

The chips were acquired from resellers in China and some of them were procured as components for computing systems, with many bought by the institute's laboratory studying computational fluid dynamics, a broad scientific field that includes the modeling of nuclear explosions.

Such purchases defy longstanding restrictions imposed by the US that aim to prevent the use of any US products for atomic weapons research by foreign powers. The academy, known as CAEP, was one of the first Chinese institutions put on the US blacklist, known as the entity list, because of its nuclear work, reported WSJ.

The Journal Review, published by CAEP, revealed that there are 34 over the past decade referenced using American semiconductors in the research. They were used in a range of ways, including analyzing data and generating algorithms. Nuclear experts said that in at least seven of them, the research can have applications for maintaining nuclear stockpiles. CAEP didn't respond to requests for comment.

The findings underline the challenge facing the Biden administration as it seeks to more aggressively counter the use of American technology by China's military. In October, the US expanded the scope of export regulations to prevent China from obtaining the most advanced American chips and chip-manufacturing tools that power artificial intelligence and supercomputers, which are increasingly important to modern warfare, reported WSJ.

America has been trying to aggressively counter the use of American technology by China's military for years now. In October last year, the US told chip designer Nvidia Corp to restrict exports of two computing chips for artificial intelligence work to Beijing.

"On August 26, 2022, the US government, or USG, informed NVIDIA Corporation, or the Company, that the USG has imposed a new license requirement, effective immediately, for any future export to China (including Hong Kong) and Russia of the Company's A100 and forthcoming H100 integrated circuits," the company said in a statement that was published by the US Securities and Commission.

The company said the license is required to export and support technologies, thereby eliminating the risk that these technologies could be used for military purposes.

The statement noted that the company may request a license for a potential customer, but does not guarantee that the government will issue a license.