After Gallium and Germanium: China Reserves the Right to Extend Export Restrictions

by | 5. Jul 2023 - 10:52 | Politics

Former minister announces further response to access restrictions on advanced chips.

The trade dispute between the United States and China continues: in an interview with the newspaper China Daily, China’s former deputy commerce minister Wei Jianguo described the export restrictions on products containing gallium and germanium as the beginning of China’s countermeasures should the United States impose even stricter technology restrictions on the People’s Republic and further reduce access to advanced chips. He referred to China’s cloud computing access restrictions imposed by the United States on Tuesday (we reported) and threatened the possibility to implement further measures.

As Reuters writes, according to analysts, the export restrictions on products containing gallium and germanium are China’s second and largest countermeasure to date in the technology dispute between the two superpowers. According to Reuters, the U.S. is already considering new export restrictions on microchips to China but also on equipment needed to make them that could be used by the Chinese military.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke out in favor of “stable and smooth functioning of regional industrial and supply chains,” Reuters continues. According to Bloomberg (paywall), these remarks are in stark contrast to China’s current actions and came just one day after the export restrictions were announced.

Assessment of China’s Actions in Germany

The current developments have also drawn the attention of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Wolfgang Niedermark, a member of the BDI’s executive board, argues that dependence on critical raw materials needs to be further reduced and, in this context, appealed to the European Union to complete the Critical Raw Materials Act more quickly and rely more on domestic mining. The German Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck, also commented on the limited access to raw materials and said that current developments could have a negative impact on energy and economic security. He further warned of possible repercussions for Germany if other raw materials such as lithium were to be affected.

Photo: iStock/Mykola Pokhodzhay

The Magnetics Show USA 2024 advert