China ‘highly concerned’ about Japan’s chip policy, urges Tokyo to follow WTO rules
Published: Apr 13, 2023 09:09 PM
China Japan Photo: VCG

China Japan Photo: VCG

China is "highly concerned" about Japan's plan to put export controls on some 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told Japanese Ambassador Hideo Tarumi during a meeting in Beijing.

Wang urged Japan to respect market rules, listen to the voices of enterprises, abide by WTO rules, and jointly maintain the stability of the global semiconductor industry and supply chains, so as to promote the healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations, according to a Ministry of Commerce (MOFOM) statement posted on Thursday.

Tokyo said on March 31 that it planned to restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. While not mentioning China, the move is seen as Japan aligning itself with US technology curbs on China.

Japan and China have close economic and trade relations and great potential for cooperation, and Japan is willing to maintain dialogue and communication with China on relevant issues to promote the further development of bilateral economic and trade relations, Hideo Tarumi said, according to a report on the MOFOM website.

Wang said that China and Japan should jointly implement the important consensus of the leaders of the two countries, organize a new round of the China-Japan Economic High Level Dialogue, and expand cooperation in areas such as green and low-carbon energy, healthcare, services, e-commerce and digital economy.

"I hope Japan supports China's accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement," said Wang.

"China has grave concerns about Japan's move on its chip ban and is watching closely how the ban might impact bilateral high-tech trade," Chen Zilei, director of the Research Center for Japanese Economics at the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Any curbs are bad for trade and economic cooperation as well as overall trade ties between the two countries. China will surely reserve the right to take countermeasures if Japan's action harms China's interests," Chen said.

China has lodged solemn representations at different levels with the Japanese side regarding the chip export curbs. Last week, China filed a lawsuit against Japan over its semiconductor export controls, as Chinese representatives at the WTO requested a review of the US-led restrictive agreement with its allies to contain China's semiconductor industry.

In talks with Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang called on Japan not to join the US in chip restrictions. "One should not do unto others what one would not have done unto oneself. The pain remains for Japan, and Japan should not help the evil. The blockade will only further stimulate China's resolve for self-reliance," Qin said.

"As the US is trying to rope in a number of its allies to decouple from China, some factions in Japan are following the US and coming up with a crooked policy toward China. This will cause conflicts and confrontation, harming the Japanese economy and bilateral ties," Li Tianguo, an associate professor at the National Institute of International Strategy, told the Global Times on Thursday.