China expresses concern about possible German export restrictions

China expresses concern about possible German export restrictions

Photo: ANP

Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao has expressed concern about possible German restrictions on exports to his country. The minister did so during a meeting with his German colleague Robert Habeck in Berlin. China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that Wentao and Habeek, who is vice chancellor in addition to being minister of economy, talked at the meeting about establishing fair and equal trade relations between the two major trading partners.

Germany is considering limiting the export of chip-making chemicals to China, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing informed sources. The move comes after Japan, the Netherlands and the United States imposed restrictions on selling machines to China that are used to make computer chips. Countries want to prevent China from developing the latest semiconductors themselves, because these high-quality chips can also be used for military purposes.

Germany itself does not have advanced chip production technologies. However, the German chemical companies Merck and BASF supply important chemicals around the world that are essential to making these semiconductors.

Habeck said in an interview last month that Germany is not under pressure from the United States to weaken economic ties with China. However, according to the minister, the German government is trying to reduce the risks of German companies that are highly dependent on China. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has previously called for making the German economy less dependent on China. However, he says this should be done gradually.

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