Tech and Science

Xi tells Dutch PM: No power can stop China’s technological progress

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

Valerie Kuypers Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

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

“The Chinese people also have legitimate development rights, and no power can stop the pace of China’s scientific and technological progress,” Xi said 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 joined the United States in blocking the export of advanced chip technology to China over fears they could be used for military purposes.

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

Dutch tech giant ASML has been banned from exporting extreme ultraviolet lithography machines to China – it is currently the only company capable of producing such machines. So far, he has not delivered a single EUV machine to China.

Such EUV lithography machines are crucial for chip manufacturing and are used by companies like Taiwan’s TSMC to produce the smallest and most sophisticated chips.

In January, The Netherlands has banned ASML from exporting some of its deep ultraviolet lithography systems to China, which are used to make slightly less advanced chips.

Semiconductor chips: There's a three-horse race going on outside mainland China, analysts say

Beijing criticized the Dutch government’s movewhich calls on the Netherlands to “maintain an objective and fair position and market principles” and “protect the common interests” of the two countries and their companies.

“Creating scientific and technological barriers and disrupting industrial and supply chains will only lead to division and confrontation,” Xi said on Wednesday, according to Xinhua state media.

He said collaboration was the only way, adding that “decoupling and breaking the chain” was not an option.

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

According to ReutersRutte said on Wednesday that the Netherlands has tried to ensure that export restrictions, when they apply to the semiconductor industry and companies like ASML, are never targeted at a single country. “We always try to ensure that the impact is limited,” he was quoted as saying.

Chinese state media reported that Rutte responded that decoupling was not a political decision for the Dutch government either, “since any action that undermines China’s development interests would only be a boomerang.”

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