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China enforces Export Control Law for sensitive items

News Agencies | Updated on: 1 December 2020, 10:43 IST

Amid worsening trade relations of China with several countries, the Chinese government tightened its export rules for controlled items like sensitive technology through the implementation of the export-control-law">Export Control Law from Tuesday.

According to South China Morning Post, the law, which came into effect on Tuesday, expands Beijing's arsenal of countermeasures to trade restrictions imposed by other countries.

The law was first drafted in 2017 and was approved in late October this year. It bears resemblance to the US Export Administration Regulations, including a list of controlled items like sensitive technology, military goods, dual-use items that have both civil and military usage, and a licence requirement for anyone who intends to export or re-export these goods.

The regulation is being considered as a response to the United States' restrictions on Chinese technology firms like Huawei Technologies Co., which has seen access to American technology severed amid a growing tech war between the world's two largest powers, the Morning Post reported.

Export Control Law as a milestone for China because this new law provides the first comprehensive regulatory framework for restricting exports of military and dual-use products and technology for national security and public policy reasons," said Julien Chaisse, a law professor at City University of Hong Kong.

"Virtually all major economies already had similar laws and framework to regulate foreign export control practice in place, so China is filling a major gap and catching up with what has been done in many other places," Julien added.

The new law explicitly allows China to retaliate against a country that violates export controls and endangers national security, although the definition of abuse is not clearly defined.

The new law also allows Beijing to impose temporary export controls on goods, services and technologies that are not on the official export control list for up to two years, providing the government with ample flexibility to impose restrictions.

It is unclear whether Beijing will use the US-style "long-arm jurisdiction" to penalise foreign companies that violate Chinese export controls by selling products that consist of restricted technology.

A draft version of Beijing's export-control-law">Export Control Law published in 2017 contained something similar to long-arm jurisdiction but was removed in the final version because of concerns over its negative impact on China's role in the global supply chain.

The Chinese trade relations with several countries including Australia, the US, and the UK have deteriorated in recent time.

Canberra has been locked in an ongoing trade war with Beijing for seven months, which has seen China slap sanctions on various Australian products.

China has unofficially banned Australian imports of coal, sugar, barley, lobsters, wine, copper and log timber since the start of November. It has also imposed anti-dumping duties on barley earlier this year.


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First published: 1 December 2020, 10:43 IST