Date
18 December 2017
US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on April 13. Washington’s export controls on high-tech products is said to have come up during their discussions. Photo: Reuters
US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on April 13. Washington’s export controls on high-tech products is said to have come up during their discussions. Photo: Reuters

Premier Li urges US to remove curbs on high-tech exports

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged Washington to remove the curbs on high-technology exports, warning that Beijing may seek alternatives from Russia or other countries if the US does not oblige, according to a report.

Li raised the issue on Monday with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during her visit to Beijing, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

China is determined to secure technology it needs with or without US cooperation, Li is said to have remarked.

“They specifically said they would look elsewhere if they couldn’t get the deals,” a source told the paper, adding that Li named Russia specifically.

Li’s comments came after Washington in February blocked US companies from supplying equipment for use in the Tianhe-2, China’s powerful supercomputer, the report noted.

The US Commerce Department has said the supercomputer and a predecessor “are believed to be used in nuclear explosive activities”.

Pritzker, meanwhile, defended US export controls, which cover a range of technologies that Washington believes could be used for military purposes.

“Export controls are not an impediment to US trade in high technology,” she was quoted as saying in Beijing Tuesday, citing US policies on nuclear nonproliferation.

“We have to remember why export controls exist, and it’s really for our national security.”

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CG/RC

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