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China's Ban on Micron 'Nothing to Do' With National Security, US Lawmakers Say

Republicans leaders this week criticized China's decision to ban certain sales from U.S. chip company Micron (see 2305220053), saying the move was politically driven and lacked evidence.

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The decision was “blatantly coercive” and has “nothing to do with China’s national security,” said Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The United States makes investment screening and export control decisions based on the rule of law, involving rigorous review and defensible legal standards,” Risch said May 23. “We cannot, and do not, decide to ban goods manufactured in other countries based on petty whims.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the ban has "nothing to do with Micron -- or the security of its products. The ban demonstrates General Secretary [Xi Xinping's] plan to use his market as a weapon to attack others." McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Biden administration to "use the many authorities Congress has given it to hold the CCP accountable."

The U.S. "must make clear" to China "that it will not tolerate economic coercion against its companies or its allies," said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., chair of the House Select Committee on China. He said the administration can do this by adding China's ChangXin Memory Technologies to the Commerce Department Entity List and "ensure no U.S. technology, regardless of specifications, goes to CXMT," China's Yangtze Memory Technologies "or other PRC firms operating in this industry." It also should make sure U.S. export licenses granted to foreign semiconductor memory firms operating in China aren't being used to "backfill" Micron.

China defended the move this week, saying May 24 that the cybersecurity review on Micron's products was based in facts. A Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said the review "does not target any particular countries or regions, nor does China seek to exclude technologies or products from any specific country."