China voices opposition to new Dutch rules restricting chip equipment exports
Published: Jul 01, 2023 02:08 AM
ASML's booth at China International Import Expo on November 4, 2021 Photo: VCG

ASML's booth at China International Import Expo on November 4, 2021 Photo: VCG

The Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands on Friday expressed strong opposition to new rules restricting exports of advanced semiconductor equipment, stating that they abuse export control measures and go against the principles of free trade and international trade rules.

On Friday, the Dutch government announced a ministerial order restricting exports of certain advanced semiconductor equipment, a move widely believed to target China due to pressure from the US.

The new Dutch export control regulations will come into effect on September 1, 2023.

"We've taken this step on national security grounds," Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher said in a statement published on the government website.

Currently, the global semiconductor industry has formed an interdependent ecosystem where each party is interconnected. China is the world's largest semiconductor market and an important part of the global semiconductor supply chain. The Dutch side's imposition of arbitrary restrictions under the pretext of "national security" is groundless and lacks any legal or moral basis, the Chinese embassy said.

This behavior not only harms the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies but will also cause losses for Dutch companies. It disrupts the stability of the global industrial and supply chains and undermines the good reputation of the Netherlands in supporting free trade, said the embassy.

In a statement sent to the Global Times on Friday, Dutch chip-making equipment giant ASML said that due to these export control regulations, ASML will need to apply for export licenses with the Dutch government for all shipments of its most advanced immersion DUV lithography systems.

DUV is less advanced than extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines but is indispensable in the production of many types of semiconductors. Sales of ASML's EUV tools to China have already been restricted since 2019.

ASML is Europe's largest chip equipment company due to its dominance in lithography, one of the central steps in the chip making process.

As is well-known, certain major countries have repeatedly broadened the concept of "national security," abused export control measures, and maliciously blocked and suppressed Chinese companies while coercing allies to participate in economic containment against China, the embassy said in the statement.

According to a Reuters report on Friday, the US is expected to go one step further after the Netherlands' move and use its long reach to block even more Dutch equipment for specific Chinese firms this summer.

"We urge the Dutch side to correct its mistaken practices immediately, and to consider the maintenance of international trade rules and the overall situation of China-Netherlands economic and trade cooperation. Meanwhile, we are also willing to work with the Dutch side, based on the principle of mutual benefit, to jointly explore solutions and promote the healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations," the embassy said.

Global Times