BEIJING (Dispatches) -- China has passed a new law that restricts export of sensitive items vital to national security in reprisal for a similar move by the United States.
China’s state news agency Xinhua said the law was passed on Saturday by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee — the country’s top legislative body — and will take effect on December 1.
The restriction on sensitive exports, as the law stated, allows the Chinese government to "take reciprocal measures” against countries — the United States in particular — that abuse export regulations to harm the economic interests of Beijing.
"Where any country or region abuses export control measures to endanger the national security and interests of the People’s Republic of China, (it) may take reciprocal measures,” the law said, adding that Chinese authorities will formulate and adjust an export control list of items to be published in a "timely manner.”
According to a statement on the National People’s Congress website, sensitive items entail military and nuclear products, as well as other goods, technologies and services and relevant data.
The statement also underlined that the law was "formulated for the purpose of safeguarding national security and interests.”
China’s commerce ministry issued in August a revised list of technologies that are banned or restricted for export.
Last month, the United States angered China by imposing curbs on its exports to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) — China’s biggest chipmaker. Washington has also taken various steps against tech giant Huawei as well as social media apps, TikTok and WeChat.
The economic and diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington have dropped to the lowest level in decades due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s unprecedented campaign of tariffs, threats of bans and sanctions on Chinese tech firms.
The U.S. and China are also at loggerheads over a host of other issues, including a new security law introduced in Hong Kong, the origins and handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan, and the disputed South China Sea.
Beijing has warned American officials that it may detain U.S. nationals in the country as a retaliatory move against the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution order of Chinese scholars last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said Chinese officials had issued "repeated warnings through multiple channels” to U.S. government officials.