Wednesday, April 5, 2023

China urges stronger WTO monitoring of US-led chip export curbs

A logo is seen at the WTO in Geneva

A logo is seen at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters before a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, October 5, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse 

April 5 (Reuters) - China has urged the World Trade Organization to scrutinise US-led technology export restrictions aimed at curbing its ability to make advanced chips, state television said on Wednesday.

Chinese representatives told a WTO meeting this week that Japan, the Netherlands and the United States should report their plans and subsequent measures to the body, which it urged to step up supervision on the matter, broadcaster CCTV said.

A Geneva-based trade official confirmed that China raised the issue and asked the WTO to strengthen its monitoring of the measures during a tense two-day meeting of its Council for Trade in Goods.

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The US has previously said its actions relate to national security grounds and should not be subject to review by the WTO.

Last week, without specifying China as the target, Japan said it would restrict export of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, a move in line with Washington's curbs announced last October.

That came after the Netherlands said last month that it also planned to limit similar exports, such as those from ASML Holding NV (ASML.AS), which dominates the market for lithography systems used to create chips' minute circuitry.

The move of the three nations in alignment to curb chip exports to China "violates the fairness and transparency principles of WTO", CCTV said.

The state broadcaster gave no details of any WTO response to China's remarks.

China responded to the US measures last year with a WTO complaint saying the US actions were inconsistent with articles governing trade between member nations, a dispute record on the WTO's website shows.

At the time, Washington said the measures concerned issues of national security "not susceptible to review or capable of resolution" by WTO dispute settlement.

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Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Jenny Wang; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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