China’s National Development and Reform Commission is mulling establishing a national technological security management list system, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Detailed measures will be unveiled in the near future.
This plan is clearly related to the recent announcement by the Ministry of Commerce of a non-reliable entity list. This is not only an initiative for China to strengthen its long-term institutional construction of economic security, but is of practical significance to counter US technical restrictions and supply cut-off to some Chinese high-tech enterprises.
Although details have not yet been released, the act is expected to protect Chinese high-tech enterprises and will provide a legal basis for technology exports management. Since 2018, the US has repeatedly drawn on its domestic laws to exert pressure on Chinese high-tech enterprises. China’s countermeasures against the US moves require more legal weapons.
China has some relevant laws and regulations, such as the National Security Law, but the enforcement was relatively weak in the past. Establishing a national technological security management list system not only helps refine those regulations, but also strengthens the implementation.
The industrial structure of today’s world is a complex supply chain system. The US does control high-end technology in many fields, but China is the world’s largest manufacturing base, which has mastered and innovated various practical technologies. The global supply chain cannot operate without China. China is capable of impacting the US supply chain through certain technical controls.
China recently indicated a probable cut-off of rare-earth products to the US. Although the US may take various measures to alleviate such a shock, it will be messy. China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rare earths, and leads the global field in its mastery of rare-earth refining technology.
The US claims that some foreign-funded enterprises will leave China and move to Southeast Asian countries. This is an oversimplified view. Making Southeast Asian countries the US barrier to contain China goes against the will of those countries. It is not only technically difficult, but will never be allowed by China.
China has sufficient capacity and the means to upset any such plan of the US. China will establish a non-reliable entity list and a national technological security management list system, but China will not abuse them to arbitrarily suppress cooperative foreign companies. China cherishes the environment provided by reform and opening-up and protects the interests of all enterprises cooperating normally with China. China’s newly established mechanisms will be strictly limited to safeguarding China’s national security. Only foreign companies that have harmed China’s high-tech enterprise security and national security by actual actions will be targeted.
Some may think that such regulations create ambiguity and leave space for “selective law enforcement.” There are vague areas in all regulations, and any country’s judicial machine can selectively enforce laws. But has China selectively punished a single foreign company in all these years? It is the US that has provided the most obvious examples of unfair and selective law enforcement.
It has been observed that US judicial tools are arbitrarily used to maintain its global hegemony and implement various long-arm jurisdictions. US national security and hegemony are one and the same. China has neither such ambitions nor the willingness to abuse long-arm jurisdiction.
China’s national security is in line with the understanding of all countries. The world should now guard against the US, the country which has recklessly disrupted the global supply chain, rather than China, which now has to adopt strategic defenses and carry out some key counterattacks.