Economic Espionage: China’s Battle for Semiconductor Self-Sufficiency and the Netherlands’ Importance in the Industry

The Dutch Company that Plays a Crucial Role in China’s Tech Industry

Beijing’s Prime Minister Li Qiang is a key figure in China’s global semiconductor industry, with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit to Beijing being particularly significant. The Netherlands’ importance in Beijing stems from China’s reliance on Dutch company ASML in the industry, which is essential for semiconductor chip production.

ASML is the only company capable of producing lithography systems on a large scale, making it a valuable technology group in Europe. However, the global semiconductor industry has become a battleground between the US and China, with Taiwan being a key player in chip production. China aims to be self-sufficient in semiconductor production, reducing its dependence on Taiwan. In response, the US passed the Chips Act, imposing an embargo on advanced semiconductor chips to China. The Netherlands quickly joined the embargo, impacting ASML’s business in China.

China’s President Xi Jinping criticized Rutte for his decision to join the embargo, stating that it only leads to division and confrontation. He emphasized China’s right to technological progress and development despite external restrictions. While China recognizes the limitations of the embargo, they seek to ensure that ASML can continue servicing machines in China. Despite tensions over the semiconductor industry, China acknowledges the importance of cooperation with countries like the Netherlands and companies like ASML for global technology and trade advancements.

The strategic alliances and decisions made by both parties have far-reaching implications for their economies and global influence. While there may be disagreements over specific industries or technologies, maintaining relationships with other countries is crucial for achieving long-term success and growth as well as promoting peace and stability globally.

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