Biden to host talks with Dutch prime minister on technology in Ukraine

washington — WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in an effort to persuade the U.S. administration to further tighten restrictions on the Netherlands’ exports of Chinese advanced semiconductors.

Tuesday’s wide-ranging discussion is expected to cover the countries’ efforts to thwart Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the upcoming pro-democracy summit, the White House said.

The Biden administration is trying to get the Netherlands on the same page after the US Commerce Department announced new export controls targeting China in October. The sanctions are intended to limit China’s ability to acquire advanced computer chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufacture advanced semiconductors.

Administration officials say the export bans are necessary because China can use semiconductors to create advanced military systems, including weapons of mass destruction; committing human rights violations; and improving the speed and accuracy of military decision-making, planning and logistics.

Slowing Beijing’s reach, however, would require more help from its allies to make US export controls more effective. Netherlands-based technology giant ASML is a leading manufacturer of machines that design and manufacture semiconductors. China is one of ASML’s biggest customers.

The United States has been discussing tougher export restrictions with Japan to limit the sale of semiconductor manufacturing technology to China. Ruth’s visit comes after Biden invited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for talks last week.

In a joint statement following the Oval Office meeting, the US and Japan said the two sides “agreed to sharpen our shared edge in economic security, including the defense and promotion of critical and emerging technologies.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin last week called on Japan and the Netherlands to resist US pressure.

“We hope that the relevant countries will do the right thing and work together to uphold the multilateral trading system and maintain the stability of the world’s industrial and supply chains,” he said. “This also serves to protect their own long-term interests.”

Rutt said on Twitter on Monday that he spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Saturday’s Russian missile attack on an apartment building in Dnipro – one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the nearly 11-month war. The death toll from the strike has risen to 40 and 30 people were reported missing on Monday, the country’s authorities said.

“The horrific attack on an apartment in Dnipro highlights why Russia will not be allowed to win this war,” Ruth posted. “Coordination of international military support is essential in the coming months.”

Before Tuesday’s meeting, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby praised the Netherlands as a “key supporter of security assistance to Ukraine.” The Netherlands has contributed $3 billion to support Ukraine and is committed to spending an additional $1 billion.

According to Kirby, the two leaders plan to discuss a democratic summit in cooperation with Costa Rica, South Korea and Zambia at the end of March.

Biden hosted the first Democracy Summit in December 2021, which his administration called the start of a global conversation about how best to reverse the decline of democracy.

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