China lashed out at Japan over Tokyo’s new export restrictions on some chipmaking technology and said it would take action to defend its interests, just days after it banned some domestic firms from using semiconductors from U.S.-based Micron Technology.

China “firmly opposes” Japan’s decision to impose curbs on the shipment of 23 types of chipmaking technology, an unnamed spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce said in a Tuesday statement. The action is an “abuse” of export control measures and goes against free trade and international trade regulations, the statement said.

The limits will “severely undermine the interests and rights of Chinese and Japanese companies and China-Japan trade and economic cooperation, damage the landscape of the global semiconductor industry, and impact industrial and supply chain security and stability,” it said. “China will reserve the right to take measures to firmly defend its lawful rights and interests.”

The statement came after Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry published details of the restrictions which will take effect on July 23. China has repeatedly complained about the measures since they were announced in March, and last month urged the World Trade Organization to look into export restrictions on the sale of such machines announced by the United States, Japan and the Netherlands. Japan has defended its actions.

The threat of unspecified consequences follows Beijing’s announcement over the weekend that domestic operators of key infrastructure were banned from buying products from Micron, in its most powerful retaliation yet against U.S. export controls targeting China.

The tech sector has become a key national security battlefield between the world’s two largest economies, with Washington having already blacklisted Chinese tech firms, cut off the flow of sophisticated processors and banned its citizens from providing certain help to the Chinese chip industry.

Tokyo’s move follows months of lobbying by the U.S. to get Japan and the Netherlands to join it in tightening controls on shipments of semiconductor tools to China. The new measures will limit the ability of Chinese companies to make the most advanced types of semiconductors.

Source: The Japan Times