China says US has ‘weaponized’ controls on chip exports

Chinese and US flags fly near The Bund before a US trade delegation meets their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China on July 30, 2019.

Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that the U.S. is weaponizing export controls and using them as a tool.

“We are very concerned about the United States’ direct intervention and interference in the issue of high-tech exports of Dutch companies to China,” spokeswoman Shu Jueting said at the ministry’s first press conference in 2024, according to a CNBC translation of her Mandarin. – language notes.

“The United States has instrumentalized and weaponized export control issues,” she said, calling on the Dutch side to “respect the spirit of the treaty and support businesses in conducting trade in accordance with regulations.”

She was answering a question about ASML, a Dutch company that makes lithography machines that are key to the production of advanced semiconductors.

ASML said in a statement on January 1 that the Dutch government has restricted the export of some lithography products to China.

Last year, the Dutch government announced new restrictions on the export of certain advanced chip manufacturing equipment. The move followed US export controls aimed at limiting the Chinese military’s access to high-end semiconductor technology.

ASML said in a statement that after discussions with the US government, it found that the latest US export rules from October cover certain lithography tools.

China “resolutely rejects” such moves and will take “necessary measures” to protect China’s business interests, Shu said.

Last year, the ministry announced controls on the export of certain metals used in chip production.

US-China trade talks focus on chips

Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao also raised concerns about U.S. chip export controls in a call with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Thursday, according to the ministry.

Wang “focused on expressing serious concern over US restrictions on third-party lithography machine exports to China, investigations into the supply chain of legacy chips and sanctions that are cracking down on Chinese companies,” the ministry said in a Chinese translation by CNBC.

The US Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside US business hours.

Leave a Comment