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China urges Japan to be prudent on semiconductor manufacturing equipment export controls

BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) — China urged Japan to be prudent on tightening export controls over semiconductor manufacturing equipment and avoid creating new complex factors to bilateral ties, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Monday.

A few days ago, Japan announced it will tighten export controls of high-performance semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which is believed by many that this is meant to restrict China-Japan cooperation in the semiconductor sector, Mao told a press briefing when answering a relevant question.

“China has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side on this issue at different levels to express our strong discontent and grave concerns,” said the spokesperson.

Mao said Japan expressed many times in its communication with China that the two countries enjoy close economic and trade ties and that Japan is committed to advancing cooperation with China.

“We hope Japan can act on such statements, take an objective and fair position and follow market principles, proceed from its long-term interests, keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and smooth, defend the free and open international trade order and safeguard the shared interests of the two countries and the companies of both sides,” said Mao.

Mao said China is the largest export market of Japan’s semiconductor sector, with an annual volume of more than 10 billion U.S. dollars. China accounts for a quarter of Japan’s export of semiconductor equipment. The two sides have been conducting win-win cooperation in this sector.

Mao said that the potential export control targeting China will not only affect the industrial and supply chains of semiconductors in the region and the wider world, and will also hurt Japanese companies.

“We hope Japan can be prudent when making decisions and avoid creating new complex factors to mutual trust and bilateral relations,” said Mao.

China will assess the impact of Japan’s export control policy, Mao said, adding that if Japan imposes restrictions on normal cooperation in the semiconductor sector between the two countries and seriously undermines China’s interests, China will act firmly in response rather than sit idly by. 

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