China criticizes new U.S. controls on high-tech exports

Beijing on Tuesday criticized new U.S. controls on exports to China of technology with possible military uses, rejecting them as a threat to cooperative relations and efforts to shrink the swollen Chinese trade surplus.

"The Chinese side expresses extraordinary regret and great concern about this," the Commerce Ministry said on its Web site. It said Beijing reserved the right to take unspecified "corresponding measures" in response.

The U.S. rules announced Friday are meant to deny China's military access to technology that might aid its modernization. They impose new end-use controls on goods including lasers, telecommunications equipment and navigation systems.

"The Chinese side believes the U.S. side's insistence on issuing these rules without fully hearing China's opinions is inappropriate, and violates the cooperative spirit," the Commerce Ministry statement said.

The rules "will damage the Chinese side's effort to expand imports from the United States," the statement said. It appealed to Washington to keep in mind the benefits from developing U.S.-Chinese trade in high-tech goods.

The new controls reflect Washington's unease over China's growing military might even as American officials press Beijing to lower barriers to imports of U.S. goods.

The regulations also are intended to make it easier for U.S. companies to sell semiconductors, chemicals and other technology to some Chinese customers that undergo advance screening.

China is spending heavily on updating its arsenal, acquiring Russian fighter jets, submarines and other weapons and trying to improve its own jets, missiles and other systems.

A key Chinese goal is backing up repeated threats to attack Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own territory.

The U.S. Defense Department said last month in a report to Congress that China's military was modernizing in ways that give it options for launching surprise attacks, potentially far from its borders.

A Pentagon official testified before Congress last week that China is concealing its spending on weapons programs, including technology that could be used to disrupt U.S. space efforts.