Beijing publishes white paper on export control

by Anne Kader

Image: Unsplash / Pixabay



The new White Paper on Export Control, which Beijing released on Wednesday (December 29th), states that China will curb exports of dual-use technology, military products, nuclear items for the sake of its national security. Dual-use goods, technologies, and services are suitable for civilian or military purposes.


The document is China’s first white paper on export controls and comes around one year after the implementation of the PRC Export Control Law in December 2020.


The White Paper also encourages countries to promote common objectives such as sharing scientific and technological benefits, effectively managing risks and threats related to export controls, and creating a secure environment for economic and social development. (Lexology)


The White Paper on Exports of Nuclear Technology states that the bureau by the Chinese National Council specifically regulates nuclear exports. It ensures its peaceful use and accepts the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The purchasing country cannot transfer the goods to a third country without the Chinese government’s approval.


The White Paper states three main principles. The administration will implement strict scrutiny of nuclear exports and take firm action against any illegal activity.


The White Paper is a government document that interprets Beijing’s long-term position on particular issues. The 9,000-word White Paper on Export Control repeatedly mentions the United States in chapters and paragraphs on cooperation. 


According to the paper, China has consulted and had exchanges with the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union on the nuclear issue. The countries have jointly cracked down on illegal activities and exchanged information between law enforcement.


However, a relevant official of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce admitted that international export controls have some challenges. 


The White Paper on China’s export control is China’s second-largest move in this area. A year ago, the 13th National People’s Congress voted unanimously to pass the Export Control Law. The law clearly states that if any country or region abuses its export control measures, endangering China’s national security and interests, China will take action.


The United States viewed the move as a legal basis for the United States to counteract. According to Prof. Alex Kapri of the National University of Singapore, China’s previously made such moves because of escalating Sino-US technology war. China had always hoped to maintain its advantage.


The Export Control Law allows for the punishment of foreign organizations or individuals, who suggest that China attempts to ban the global sale of sensitive technologies. It has come to our notice, the White Paper states, that the United States does not want to share this type of artificial intelligence.


In addition, the release of this Export Control White Paper may also affect China’s exports of rare earth metals. A year ago, when China enacted the Export Control Act, the price of rare earth metals rose.

China is the world’s largest producer of rare-earth metals. Consumer electronics, from smartphones to wind turbines, require rare earth metals.


China may further reduce the volume of rare earth metal exports as the Securities Research Control Act comes into force. Due to the fact that the global market depends on China’s rare earth metals, the global supply of rare-earth metals may further go down once export controls are put in place. Therefore the price of rare earth is likely to rise even further.


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