The government’s plan to allow the export of hundreds of strategic high-tech goods to China would pose no threat to Taiwan’s high-tech sector, Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Bill Cho (卓士昭) said yesterday.
Cho’s remarks came after the government announced that it planned to decriminalize the export of about 3,340 strategic high-tech commodities (SHTC) to China, with the exception of 12 items related to semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
The bureau published the relaxation measures on May 25, and they are expected to be debated for about one week.
The bureau said the relaxation measures would take effect some time later, pending a formal announcement.
The ban on SHTC exports to China was introduced in 2006 amid concerns that Iran and North Korea might use Taiwan as a transshipment point for goods and materials that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The government consulted with the EU’s controlled list to select the 3,340 SHTC items for import and export controls, Cho told a press conference. SHTC import and export controls are based on the principle of helping the international community to prevent the spread of nuclear, missile, biochemical and other weapons of mass destruction, Cho said.
Asked if loosening SHTC exports to China would result in leakage of high-tech business secrets or an imbalance in technological development between Taiwan and China, he said it should not be a cause for concern because the planned revision conforms with the international consensus. The government plans to remove China from the list on the grounds that the US, the EU, Japan and South Korea do not include China in their list of restricted areas, Cho said, adding that the government wishes to treat China the same way that other countries treat it.
According to the regulations governing SHTC exports, exporters have to file applications to the bureau to obtain a permit for shipments to either restricted or non-restricted areas.
Exporting SHTC to areas that are non-restricted without a permit is subject to administrative punishment, such as fines and export bans for a certain period of time, while doing the same to restricted areas is subject to a criminal penalty of less than five years in prison.