US restriction on chip equipment exports to China harms all: Foreign Ministry spokesperson

The U.S., to safeguard its global hegemony and selfish interests, is politicizing economic and trade issues, said Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday's news briefing, responding to the recent joint restriction of chip equipment exports to China by the U.S., Japan and the Netherlands.

Photo taken on March 28, 2022 shows the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States. (Photo: Xinhua)

Mao said that the U.S. abused export control, coerced and enticed some other countries into forming a small circle to contain China, which politicized and weaponized economic and trade, scientific and technological issues, and seriously undermined market rules and international economic and trade order. China is firmly opposed to the behavior, Mao noted.

She pointed out that the restriction harms China without anyone gaining any benefit in the process and undercuts the stability of the global industrial chain.

There are also international concerns, with many business people saying that the abuse of export controls creates chaos and undermines efficiency and innovation. If you try to block others' roads, it will end up blocking your own way, Mao warned.

"China will closely follow relevant developments and firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests. We believe that relevant parties should act prudently, and proceed from their own long-term interests and the common interests of the international community," Mao said.

Bloomberg News reported last week that Japan and the Netherlands were discussing with the U.S. to join it in restricting exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China.

It's reported that the Netherlands would restrict ASML Holding NV from selling machines to China used to make certain types of advanced chips, and Japan would impose similar restrictions on Nikon Corp.

Getting the Netherlands and Japan to impose tighter export controls on China is a major diplomatic goal for U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, which aims to slow China's technological development.

Experts said that the restriction will severely affect chip manufacturing companies in the U.S., Japan and the Netherlands.

According to Masahiko Hosokawa, a Meisei University professor and former director general of trade control at Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the most likely to be affected Japanese company will be chip manufacturing machinery maker Tokyo Electron, which relies on China for about a quarter of its sales.