US export control

Updated: 2013-01-07 07:42

(China Daily)

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China was justified in expressing its disappointment and dissatisfaction on Saturday after the United States retained restrictions on the exporting of satellites and related items to China.

The US decision does a disservice to the cultivation of more balanced trade between the two countries, which in turn will have negative impact on the healthy development of bilateral trade ties.

On Jan 3, US President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, which, although it loosens restrictions on US satellite exports, bans the exporting, re-exporting or transferring of satellites to China, as well as the launching of US satellites in Chinese territory.

The move will continue to bottleneck cooperation between the countries on satellites for civil use, and it does not conform with US promises to ease its export control system and boost exports of high-tech equipment to China.

China has been a victim of the biased US export control regime for a long time, as the US has restricted exports to China of high-tech products including spacecraft and their components, military technologies and products, military-civilian dual-use goods, and software.

In recent years, there have been growing calls within both countries for the US to relax its export controls and promote exports of high-tech products to China, as the move would contribute to a more balanced trade between the two countries and bring benefits to both.

High-ranking US officials, Obama included, have promised on many occasions that the US would move to ease its export control regime and that China would benefit from the changes. However, the new US defense authorization bill is a ready proof that the US is merely paying lip service to such promises.

The US should honor its promises and match words with deeds. It should respect its trade partners and treat them as equals.

China is the US' third largest export market now, and its imports from the US are expected to continue to grow this year. China has a trade surplus with the US, and it has long proposed that the two sides should address the issue through removing trade barriers and promoting trade liberalization and trade facilitation.

The US should do more to promote better trade and business ties with China, rather than putting obstacles in their way.