AF Equipment from ASML is being prepared for transport
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 10:51
China is angry about the export restrictions that the Netherlands will impose on chip machine manufacturer ASML. That company is no longer allowed to sell certain machines to Chinese companies from the summer. Western countries are afraid that the Chinese will use the chips that can be made with it for the production of military equipment, such as drones.
A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke critically about it. “We are firmly against the Dutch decision to limit normal economic traffic between Chinese and Dutch companies and have lodged a protest with the Netherlands.”
When asked what the export ban means for the relationship between the Netherlands and China, she kept quiet. “Of course, China will take all measures to protect our legitimate rights and interests.”
She accused “some countries,” without naming names, of “politicizing and instrumentalizing” trade relations in recent years and forcing others “to introduce export restrictions against China.”
She is referring to the US: that country has been urging the Netherlands for some time to restrict the sale of chip machines to companies in China. Prime Minister Rutte discussed this with President Biden when he visited Washington in January.
According to Beijing, America abuses the argument of protecting its national security to impose its will on other countries, including the Netherlands, at the expense of international trade. Spokesman Mao Ning warned of “serious consequences” for the global industrial supply chain and even for the development of the global economy.
At the end of January it became clear that the Netherlands, the United States and Japan had reached an agreement on the export restriction of chip technology to China. Washington has previously scaled back the export of its own chip technology to China.
The Americans were keen that the Netherlands would do the same, because of ASML’s leading role in the development of chip machines.
China correspondent Sjoerd den Daas:
“It is a thorn in Beijing’s side that Washington has the power to ‘force’ countries like the Netherlands and Japan to implement US export restrictions in order to ‘deprive China of its right to development’ and maintain its ‘own hegemony,’ said spokesman Mao put it into words.
Beijing has done everything it can to block this decision. In recent weeks, top diplomat Wang Yi has met with Minister Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce have visited The Hague.
Although Beijing says it understands Minister Schreinemacher’s position that the Netherlands wants to maintain its competitive position, it also says that China will take ‘all measures’ to protect China’s ‘legitimate rights and interests’.
For the time being, the Chinese authorities do not seem to opt for the stick. The harshest words are directed at America, the Netherlands is mainly portrayed as Washington’s lap dog. The relationship between China and Europe has not soured nearly as much as that between China and America. But if China has learned one lesson in recent years, it is that it cannot rely on anyone and, above all, must build its own industry.”
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