For folks who seriously follow export control reform efforts in this city, they know that articles from Communist Party-operated newspapers complaining about U.S. export control reform are not helpful to the process with certain agencies and most certainly the Congress.
Every time a Chinese official or “independent” scholar complains about the pace of reform it reinforces a belief, largely true and well grounded in fact, that China has not learned much since they were caught stealing sensitive and controlled U.S. technologies during the late 1980s and 1990s. If you’re too young to remember the Cox China Report, follow this link.
In today’s edition of the state-run China Daily newspaper, a trade expert at a Chinese university commenting on U.S. reform efforts and easing of controls of high-tech exports to China, “[U.S.] wordings are almost the same as those that appeared in previous statements. It is disappointing. They keep making empty promises, without doing anything.” Let me translate this for you: the Chinese want to see an easing of controls on high-tech exports or they will not be happy. Ever.
According to the article, the U.S. has agreed to conduct “joint research” on the impact of U.S. export controls on trade and expand cooperation in the high-tech sector. Even without knowing all that much about the details of what this “joint” report will cover, it is fair to say that it will be a rather one-side process and, no matter the outcome, the Chinese will not be pleased with it.
I have represented clients with high-tech product manufacturing contracts in China. From IP problems, to the lack of fulsome compliance in other trade security areas such as customs, my confidence level, with very few exceptions with certain companies in China, is not that all high with entrusting our most sensitive and advanced technologies to the PRC.
Even with U.S. programs such as the Commerce Department’s Validated End User (VEU) process, China has a long way to go before it re-establishes the trust it needs for us to ship our best to them.