China and the Netherlands: Navigating Tensions in the Semiconductor Industry

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

Beijing’s Prime Minister Li Qiang is an influential figure who often handles meetings with foreign leaders, including the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Rutte’s visit to Beijing is significant for several reasons, not least of which is China’s reliance on a Dutch company, ASML, in the global semiconductor industry.

ASML is the only company capable of producing lithography systems on a large scale, making it essential for semiconductor chip production. This technology has made ASML a valuable asset in Europe and has been crucial for China’s technological superiority. The global semiconductor industry is a battleground between the US and China, with Taiwan being a key player in chip production. China’s goal is to be self-sufficient in semiconductor production, reducing its dependence on Taiwan. In response to this goal, the US passed the Chips Act and imposed an embargo on advanced semiconductor chips to China.

The Netherlands, as a US ally, quickly joined the embargo and impacted ASML’s business in China. Xi Jinping criticized Rutte for the embargo, stating that it only leads to division and confrontation. He emphasized that all countries have a right to technological progress and development despite external restrictions. While China accepts the limitations of the embargo, they seek to ensure that ASML can continue servicing machines in China.

Despite tensions over the semiconductor industry, China recognizes the importance of maintaining a relationship with the Netherlands and ASML. Xi Jinping’s criticism of Rutte’s decision was a way to assert his country’s position but also acknowledges that cooperation is necessary in certain areas. The realm of global technology and trade requires strategic alliances and decisions with far-reaching implications for both parties involved.

In conclusion, while there may be tensions between countries over issues such as technology and trade, it is essential to maintain relationships with allies like those who provide crucial resources or technologies needed by others

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