US chips ban tantamounts to “economic bullying”, says China

MANILA, March 14: The US-imposed restrictions on exports of semiconductors to China violate the rules of the market, undermine trade order, and deal a blow to the stability of international production and supply chains, which is a “clear case of economic bullying,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines said on Thursday.

On Monday, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, during her visit to the Philippines, said that the United States was constantly considering the need to expand export controls to prevent China from buying advanced computer chips.

“The US imposition of restrictions on semiconductors export to China not only violates the principle of most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment stipulated in Article 1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and relevant provisions of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, but also goes against market principles, disrupts normal trade order, and interrupts the international production and supply chain. It is a clear case of economic bullying,” the spokesperson said.

The regulations are imposed “under the pretext of ‘national security’,” but in reality, they “go far beyond their excuse and gravely hinder the normal trade of ordinary chips for civilian use,” the spokesman added.

“The US should immediately cease the wrong practice of politicising, instrumentalising, and weaponising economic, trade, and sci-tech issues, and should refrain from enticing its allies into decoupling from China. China stands ready to take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” the official concluded.

Last week, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that the United States was putting pressure on allies, including the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, and Japan to mount pressure on China’s access to semiconductor technology.

In October 2022, the US imposed curbs on the export of equipment and components for producing advanced microchips to Chinese-based companies. The restrictions were expanded in October 2023, as the US Department of Commerce redefined artificial intelligence chips and introduced additional licensing requirements for their supply to more than 40 countries to avoid their resale to China.