China on Saturday criticized the latest U.S. decision to tighten export controls that would make it harder for China to obtain and manufacture advanced computing chips, calling it a violation of international economic and trade rules that will “isolate and backfire” on the U.S.
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“Out of the need to maintain its sci-tech hegemony, the U.S. abuses export control measures to maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning.
“It will not only damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also affect American companies' interests,” she said.
Mao also said that the U.S. “weaponization and politicization” of science and technology as well as economic and trade issues will not stop China's progress.
She was speaking after the U.S. on Friday updated export controls that included adding certain advanced, high-performance computing chips and semiconductor manufacturing equipment to its list, as well as new license requirements for items that would be used in a supercomputer or for semiconductor development in China.
The U.S. said that the export controls were added as part of ongoing efforts to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
U.S.-China relations have deteriorated in recent years over technology and security issues. The U.S. has implemented a raft of measures and restrictions designed to prevent China from obtaining chip technology, while China has earmarked billions for investment into the production of semiconductors.
The tensions have impacted semiconductor companies in the U.S. and globally which either export chips or manufacture chips in China. Semiconductor companies such as Nvidia and AMD has seen a 40% decline in stock price over the past year.
“We understand the goal of ensuring national security and urge the U.S. government to implement the rules in a targeted way—and in collaboration with international partners—to help level the playing field and mitigate unintended harm to U.S. innovation,” the Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents U.S. semiconductor industry, said in a statement.