Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao has called on Japan to cease its export restrictions on semiconductors, stating that such measures are a violation of international economic and trade rules. The criticism was expressed during talks between Wang and Japanese Trade Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. In January, Japan, along with the Netherlands, agreed to match U.S. export controls that limit the sale of certain chipmaking tools to China and implemented restrictions on the export of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The U.S. had imposed these restrictions to impede China’s progress in developing supercomputers for nuclear weapons and artificial intelligence systems. Japan has refrained from singling out China and instead stated that it aims to contribute to international peace and stability.

While China condemned Japan’s export controls, it expressed willingness to collaborate with Japan in key economic and trade areas. During the conference, Nishimura also met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to deepen cooperation in advanced chip research and development, as well as technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Minister Wang also met with Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, where he criticized U.S. economic and trade policies towards China, including the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework led by the U.S., which excludes China and seeks to provide an alternative centered on American influence. Recently, the U.S., Japan, and other G7 nations agreed to “de-risk” their exposure to China without fully decoupling from its economy, reducing their dependence on China across various sectors, including chips and minerals.

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