China restricts exports of critical semiconductor materials

The export controls that are placed on two essential components that are utilized in the production of computer chips are being made more stringent by the Chinese government.

Beginning the following month, special permissions will be required in order to export gallium and germanium from China, which is the greatest producer of these metals in the world. It is a response to efforts by the United States government in Washington to limit Chinese access to certain cutting-edge microprocessors.

The news was made just a few days before the high-stakes trip that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be taking to Beijing. On Monday, the Ministry of Commerce of China issued a statement saying that the limitations were required in order to safeguard China's national security and interests.

The metallic silver is utilized in semiconductor, communication, and military equipment. They are also essential components of products such as solar panels. Semiconductors, which are used in everything from mobile phones to military equipment, are at the focus of a contentious debate between the world's two greatest economies, who are also the two economies with the most population.

The United States has taken steps to restrict China's access to supercomputing and artificial intelligence chips, which it suspects could be used for military purposes. In October, Washington announced that it would require licenses from any company exporting processors to China using US-made equipment or software, regardless of where the chips were manufactured.

Countries, such as the Netherlands and Japan, have participated in the efforts. The Netherlands announced last week that it would restrict exports of certain equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing.

This followed the Netherlands' announcement earlier this year that it would restrict exports of its "most advanced" semiconductor technology. The controls are anticipated to have an impact on ASML, a major participant in the global microchip supply chain.

In the meantime, Japan intends to restrict some of its exports of computer chip manufacturing. The March-announced measures will affect 23 different categories of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. China has frequently referred to the United States as a "tech hegemony" in response to export controls imposed by Washington.

Over the past few months, Beijing has imposed limitations on American companies with ties to the American military. One such company is the aircraft company Lockheed Martin. The Secretary of the United States Treasury, Janet Yellen, who will begin a four-day visit to China on Thursday, has issued a warning about the dangers of severing economic relations between the United States and China.

"I think we gain and China gains from trade and investment that is as open as possible," she said during an appearance before Congress a month ago. This will be Ms. Yellen's second trip to the country in her capacity as a top official with the United States. Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State for the United States of America, met with Xi Jinping, the President of China, in Beijing in June. These discussions marked the beginning of high-level dialogue between the two opposing superpowers.