Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Economy | By

USA moves to limit nuclear sales to China

USA moves to limit nuclear sales to China

The United States is tightening controls on China's imports of civil nuclear technology to prevent use for military or other unauthorized purposes, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Thursday amid increased trade tensions.

The September surplus with the US was larger than China's overall trade surplus for the month.

Last month, trade turnover between the two countries was more than $9 billion.

President Trump has warned China that Washington is taking measures to curb the exporting of nuclear technology to China, adding that Americans were not "stupid", AFP reports as the Department of Energy released yesterday a set of measures "to prevent China's illegal diversion of USA civil nuclear technology for military or other unauthorized purposes".

In the Department of Energy release, Secretary Rick Perry said, "The United States can not ignore the national security implications of China's efforts to obtain nuclear technology outside of established processes of U.S". China rejected the allegations.

For January-September, China's trade surplus with the United States was $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period past year. The review was prompted by China's accelerated efforts to acquire US intellectual property to the detriment of USA businesses and military interests, they said.

"We understand the United States industry may suffer in the short term", the administration official said, adding that "we believe that in the long term this policy will benefit" the U.S. and protect the American nuclear industry.

Ho, a naturalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty past year to conspiring to produce "special nuclear material" in China in violation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act.

The new policy goes into immediate effect, and sets guidelines for reviewing all existing and future technology transfers into China, the officials said.

China, the officials said, has been using unfair policies to surpass USA industry and without this step, U.S. companies could be placed at "an even greater disadvantage". They flagged particular concern about technology that can power submarines, aircraft carriers and small modular reactors that could be used in floating power plants in South China Sea.

The Trump administration will limit sales of United States civil nuclear technology to China out of concerns that it is being diverted for military and other unauthorized purposes. An official survey also confirmed a further manufacturing weakening. They declined to comment on the specifics of these concerns.

But the robust numbers reported on Friday by China's customs agency - the last ones from China before U.S. congressional elections on November 6 - could prompt a reaction from U.S. President Donald Trump.

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