Commerce: China seeks cooperation, not confrontation
Any country's attempt to push for decoupling from or cutting supply chains with China will harm its own interests and dampen global economic recovery and growth, officials and experts said on Thursday.
Their comments came ahead of a scheduled meeting between the commerce chiefs of China and the United States. Shu Jue-ting, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news conference on Thursday that Commerce Minister Wang Wentao will hold talks with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai at the 2023 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting. The meeting is being held in Detroit, Michigan, in the U.S. on Thursday and Friday.
The two sides will discuss China-U.S. economic and trade relations and issues of mutual concern, Shu said. She called on the U.S. and other members of the Group of Seven to deliver on their commitment to not decouple from China, which they made in a joint statement released at the just-concluded G7 Summit.
The nations said in the statement on Saturday: "We are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying."
But Japan, a member of the G7, rolled out measures on Tuesday to restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China. Shu said China firmly opposes the move, which she called an abuse of export control measures and in breach of free trade and international rules.
Such misconduct will seriously damage the interests of enterprises in China and Japan, sabotage economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and impair secure global semiconductor industrial and supply chains, the spokeswoman added.
The G7 countries should not talk about not decoupling from China while abusing trade and investment restrictions to suppress the country's development, Shu said, adding that any move to push forward "de-Sinicization" in the name of "de-risking" will only hinder cooperation and opportunity.
China has always played a responsible role in injecting certainty into a world full of turmoil and new growth drivers into the global economy. The country aims to foster cooperation and offer opportunities to the world, not confrontation and risk, she said.
Zhang Wei, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the technology competition among major countries has long existed, while the trend of globalization and the industrial division of labor are inexorable.
"Unilateral moves by any country could hardly change the economic interdependence of all countries. Forced decoupling and severing supply chains, which could have serious consequences, should be rejected," Zhang said.
Shu, the spokeswoman, also noted that China's network security review over products made by U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology is in line with laws and regulations and is a necessary measure to safeguard its national security.
As the world's largest chip market, the Chinese mainland consumes more than half the world's semiconductors, which are then assembled into tech products to be reexported or sold in the domestic market, said research company Daxue Consulting.
"Access to this massive (Chinese) market is essential for the success of any globally competitive chip firm today and in the future," the Semiconductor Industry Association, a Washington-based group that represents the U.S. chip sector, said in a report.
Shu said that the Chinese government remains committed to high-quality opening-up and fostering a more enabling business climate, and it is willing to share the nation's development opportunities with the rest of the world.
Enterprises from all countries, as well as their products and services of all types, are welcome to enter the Chinese market as long as they abide by Chinese laws and regulations, she added.
On Monday, Commerce Minister Wang met in Shanghai with representatives of U.S. companies, including Johnson &Johnson, 3M, Dow, Merck and Honeywell, according to the ministry. Wang said during the meeting that "China will continue to welcome U.S.-funded companies to develop in China and achieve win-win results".