No force can stop the pace of China’s technological progress

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 23: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte meets with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China at Cathuis Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 23, 2014. (Photo credit: Valerie Kuypers-Pool/Getty Images

Valerie Kuipers Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

China’s technological progress cannot be stopped, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who met in Beijing on Wednesday for talks on areas including the vital semiconductor industry.

“The Chinese people also have a legitimate right to development, and no force can stop the pace of China’s scientific and technological progress,” Xi said, according to Xinhua news agency.

Xi said China “will continue to pursue a win-win approach.”

Relations between China and the Netherlands have been strained since the Netherlands, along with the United States, blocked exports of advanced chip technology to China over concerns it could be used for military purposes.

Semiconductor chips are important components used in everything from smartphones to cars.

Dutch technology giant ASML has been banned from exporting extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment to China. ASML is currently the only company capable of manufacturing such a device. To date, the company has yet to ship a single EUV device to China.

Such EUV lithography equipment is essential for chip manufacturing and is used by companies like Taiwan. TSMC To create the smallest and most sophisticated chips.

In January, the Netherlands banned ASML from exporting some deep ultraviolet lithography systems used to make less advanced chips to China.

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The Chinese government condemned the Dutch government’s move and called on the Netherlands to “uphold an objective and fair position and market principles” and “protect the common interests” of the two countries and their companies.

“Building science and technology walls and dividing industrial and supply chains will only lead to division and conflict,” Xi said on Wednesday, according to state media Xinhua.

Cooperation is the only way out, he said, adding that “disconnecting and breaking the chain” is not an option.

Xi said China is ready to continue dialogue with the Netherlands and called on the Dutch side to “provide a fair and transparent business environment for Chinese companies.”

According to Reuters, Rutte said on Wednesday that the Netherlands is trying to ensure that export controls related to the semiconductor industry and companies like ASML are never targeted at a single country. “We are always trying to limit the impact,” he said.

In response, Prime Minister Rutte said that decoupling was not a policy choice for the Dutch government either, “because any action that undermines China’s development interests will only boomerang,” Chinese state media reported.

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