Management list eyes mitigating risks in technological security

June 10, 2019



China is preparing to set up a national technological security management list in a push to mitigate risks to national security, according to the country's top economic planner.


The National Development and Reform Commission said it will soon enact measures to protect the country's key technologies, Xinhua News Agency reported.


The establishment of the list system is in line with current international practices, and its implementation process will improve the management system and safeguard national security, experts said.


Li Gang, director of the academic committee at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the move is in response to the United States' crackdown on Chinese tech companies.


"The U.S. has not only intensified screening and restrictions on China, but also blocked technology exports to Chinese companies. Therefore we need to be prepared for the possibility that the U.S. may ban all high-tech product exports to China in the future," Li said.


"The new move will be a major step to strengthen controls over technological exports. It is necessary for China to set up export controls and management systems for certain products, especially for those advanced technological products in which we've gained a global edge. China needs to tighten regulations and prevent those exported products from being used to suppress and damage China's development as well as its national security," Li added.


Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the academy, said, "Compared with advanced countries, we still lag behind in management of technology concerning national security."


"I would suggest China takes key measures to safeguard national security in terms of both imports and exports," Mei said. "First, we need to ensure that the imported technological products will not bring systemic risks. We can combine the new measure with the proposed list of unreliable entities to better safeguard technological security. Second, we should have better export controls over national security-related products."


China will establish a list of unreliable entities — a blacklist of foreign parties that harm the interests of Chinese companies — the Ministry of Commerce said recently.


Mei said it is necessary for China to take measures to better control risks, and it needs to continue to foster an open, transparent and fair business environment.


The National Development and Reform Commission recently held a series of seminars to discuss the country's efforts to better exploit rare earth resources, improve the industrial structure, protect resources and foster high-quality development of the commodities.


Analysts attending the symposium said more efforts are needed to tighten export controls and establish a review mechanism that keeps track of whole processes of rare earth exports.


China, the world's largest producer of rare earths, currently produces around 80 percent of the world's supply of the metals.


The NDRC said in late May that China is willing to continue supplying rare earth metals to global markets, but is opposed to those who use products made with Chinese rare earths to "suppress and dampen China's development".