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China to tighten export controls on dual-use technology

Military application fears drive move, but critics worry about arbitrary rulings

Staff work at a battery cell plant at SVOLT Energy Technology in Jiangsu Province, China. Science and tech exports fall under the umbrella of China's "national security."   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China will require exporters of products that can have military applications to provide documentation of the intended use by the buyers in an effort to halt the militarization of sensitive technology. There are concerns, however, that the process could be arbitrarily enforced against countries that have poor diplomatic relations with Beijing.

China's Export Control Law, which strengthens controls over strategic goods and advanced technology exports, went into effect in December 2020. The Ministry of Commerce is now working on regulations for exports of products that can be converted to military use under the act and recently put out a proposal for public comment.

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