The European Union can avoid getting swept up into China’s response to U.S. chip-equipment curbs, Beijing’s ambassador in The Hague said in an interview with a Dutch newspaper.
“If the Americans treat us in a hegemonic manner, we will of course respond,” said Tan Jian, Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands, in an interview with NRC published Sunday. “But our relationship with the E.U. should not be affected.”
The Netherlands is home to ASML Holding NV, which makes the world’s most advanced chipmaking gear and has been drawn into a geopolitical spat as the Biden administration seeks to curtail Beijing’s ambitions in the semiconductor industry. An expanded ban on the company’s sales of certain high-end equipment to China took effect this month.
“The U.S. has stretched its idea of security far, too far, even to matters that have nothing to do with military risks,” he said in the interview. “And they are putting pressure on their allies to do the same.”
Earlier this month, ASML said it canceled shipments of some machines to China after the Dutch government partially revoked export licenses. The move was at the request of U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and came weeks before the ban took effect, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.
Tan said dialog with the Dutch government needs to improve to prevent the situation from getting worse. Chinese companies were finding it more difficult to operate in the bloc due to increased controls, political pressure and disinformation, according to Tan.
“European China policy is confusing,” he said. “China is referred to as a cooperation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival.”