BEIJING (AP) — China on Saturday criticized the latest U.S. decision to tighten export controls that would make it more difficult for China to acquire and manufacture advanced computer chips, calling it a violation of international economic and trade rules that would “isolate and hit back” at the U.S.
“Out of the need to maintain its scientific hegemony, the United States abuses export control measures to maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning.
“It will not only harm the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also affect the interests of American companies,”[ads1]; she said.
Mao also said that the US’s “weaponization and politicization” of science and technology, as well as economic and trade issues, will not stop China’s progress.
She spoke after the United States on Friday updated export controls that included adding certain advanced, high-performance computer chips and semiconductor manufacturing equipment to the list, as well as new licensing requirements for items to be used in a supercomputer or for semiconductor development in China.
The US said the export controls were added as part of ongoing efforts to protect US national security and foreign policy interests.
Relations between the US and China have deteriorated in recent years over technology and security issues. The United States has implemented a series of measures and restrictions designed to prevent China from gaining access to chip technology, while China has earmarked billions for investment in semiconductor manufacturing.
The tensions have affected semiconductor companies in the US and globally that either export chips or manufacture chips in China. Semiconductor companies such as Nvidia and AMD have seen a 40% drop in share prices over the past year.
“We understand the goal of ensuring national security and encourage the U.S. government to implement the rules in a targeted manner — and in cooperation with international partners — to help level the playing field and reduce unintended damage to American innovation,” the Semiconductor Industry Association, representing the US semiconductor industry, said in a statement.