China has voiced strong criticism against Japan’s export curbs on chip-making equipment, stating that they are clearly directed against Beijing. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, expressed deep dissatisfaction with the new measures during a press conference on Monday. Mao urged Japan to consider the overall interests of China-Japan economic and trade cooperation and refrain from abusing export control measures.
According to Mao, China has repeatedly warned Tokyo against introducing measures that violate international economic and trade rules. The export restrictions, which took effect on Sunday, require government approval for the export of 23 chip-manufacturing items. These items include essential equipment for cleaning, check-ups, and lithography, which is crucial in the production of cutting-edge chips. Despite not explicitly mentioning China as the main target, Japan’s move is seen as part of a wider campaign initiated by the US to limit China’s access to advanced chip-manufacturing technology.
The US had introduced sweeping export controls last October, aimed at cutting China off from certain semiconductor chips made with US equipment worldwide. Since then, the US has been pressuring key chip-making nations and allies such as the Netherlands and Japan to follow suit and implement their own export restrictions.
In June, the Dutch government introduced export controls, limiting the sales of Dutch-made advanced chip-making machinery to China. Chinese analysts have warned that Beijing is prepared to take any necessary measures to safeguard its own interests. The Global Times newspaper reported that China has a range of countermeasures it could impose, including potential bans on the export of strategic raw materials and restrictions on foreign chipmakers.
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 in computer chip production. China is the dominant global producer of these metals, which are also used in products such as solar panels.
The ongoing trade restrictions and tensions between China and Japan, as well as other countries, reflect the larger global competition for advanced chip-manufacturing technology. As countries strive to protect their own technological capabilities and national security interests, export controls and regulations are becoming increasingly common in this highly strategic sector.
The implications of these measures extend beyond the chip industry, affecting global supply chains, trade relations, and geopolitical dynamics. It remains to be seen how Japan and other countries will navigate these challenges while balancing economic cooperation and national security concerns.
In conclusion, the trade restrictions implemented by Japan on chip-making equipment have drawn strong criticism from China, with Beijing arguing that they are clearly targeted against them. This move is part of a broader global campaign, led by the US, to limit China’s access to advanced chip-manufacturing technology. As tensions escalate, the repercussions are being felt not only in the chip industry but also in global trade relations and geopolitical dynamics.