China lashes out at US ally over chip curbs
China has strongly criticized export curbs on chip-making equipment that took effect in Japan on Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning claimed the new Japanese measures were “clearly directed” against Beijing, and said the Chinese government was “deeply dissatisfied.”
“China urges the Japanese side to bear in mind the overall interests of China-Japan economic and trade cooperation and its own long-term interests and refrain from abusing export control measures,” Mao added.
According to the spokeswoman, Beijing has repeatedly warned Tokyo against introducing measures that allegedly violate international economic and trade rules.
Japan first announced the export restrictions in March as a draft revision to its Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act. After the curbs entered effect on Sunday, 23 chip-manufacturing items now require government approval for export. Among them is equipment for cleaning, check-ups, and lithography – a technology essential in producing cutting-edge chips. Japan did not mention China specifically as the main target of the restrictions.
The move is part of a wider campaign launched by the US last year to limit China’s access to advanced chip-manufacturing technology.
Last October, Washington rolled out a sweeping set of export controls which included a measure to cut China off from certain semiconductor chips made with US equipment anywhere in the world.
Since then, Washington has been pushing key chip-making nations and allies such as the Netherlands and Japan to follow its lead and introduce export restrictions of their own.
The Dutch government introduced export controls in June, limiting the sales of Dutch-made advanced chip-making machinery to China.
Chinese analysts have warned that Beijing will take any measures necessary to safeguard its own interests, the Global Times newspaper reported on Sunday. China has a variety of countermeasures it could impose, including potential bans on the export of strategic raw materials and restrictions on foreign chipmakers, the report said.
Earlier this month, the Chinese government announced that starting in August, special licenses will be required to export gallium and germanium, two key metals used to make computer chips. China produces the majority of their global supply. Apart from semiconductors, the two metals are used in products such as solar panels.
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