China has hit back at discriminatory restrictions and “double standards” aimed at preventing the wider spread of nuclear weapons amid a growing technology rivalry with the United States and increasing concern in Washington over Beijing’s expanding arsenal. Beijing issued its first white paper on export controls on Wednesday, pledging more engagement to shape “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” global export controls. It stressed it will firmly oppose the abuse of “standard international practice” and while arguing that no country or region should “gratuitously impose” discriminatory restrictions or apply “double standards” when it comes to preventing the wider spread of nuclear weapons. China, now as a large country that bears responsibility in the international community, must set limits to its arms exports Zhou Chenming “International export controls are facing some challenges at present,” the Ministry of Commerce said. “In particular, individual countries have generalised national security, fabricated excuses and used state power to interfere in normal trade and market transactions, repeatedly abusing export controls as a tool to suppress and bully other countries,” the ministry said. The “China’s Export Controls” white paper aims to paint a full picture of China’s policies and its position at a time when Chinese technology firms and research institutions continue to face the pressure of US sanctions. “China, now as a large country that bears responsibility in the international community, must set limits to its arms exports,” said Zhou Chenming, a Beijing-based military commentator. “China now has a very comprehensive industrial chain for technologies that are used by both civilians and the military. There could be a lot of trouble if they were to leave the country.” Since November, the Biden administration has placed dozens of Chinese firms – including quantum computing and semiconductor companies, the world’s top commercial drone maker DJI Technology and China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences – on trade and investment blacklists. The White House cited military ties or alleged involvement in the surveillance of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang , with the moves drawing a backlash from Beijing. This month, the US doubled down on calls for China to agree to arms control talks. A senior American official said that the two countries had yet to make any concrete plans, but the topic was discussed during November’s call between Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden . But Chinese officials have argued that China’s nuclear arsenal is still dwarfed by that of the US and have emphasised its “no-first-use” nuclear policy. US sanctions China’s SenseTime, Xinjiang officials over ‘human rights abuses’ Zhou said the white paper was needed to declare the government’s position on arms exports at the national level as drone, missile and artificial intelligence technology could be used by countries that are hostile to China. “It also wants to create a good image internationally, to say that China is a responsible country in this field,” Zhou said. Wang Qun, the Chinese envoy to the United Nations, this week also lashed out at unidentified Western nations for their “pragmatism” and “double standards” in pursuit of “selfish interests” on the Iran nuclear talks and related nuclear issues. In the white paper published on Wednesday by the State Council Information Office, China said that it always prioritises international exchanges and cooperation on export controls to build a more open and just global regime. The status and role of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory export control measures is growing in importance China’s Export Controls white paper “The world is undergoing profound changes of a scale unseen in a century, with an increase in destabilising factors and uncertainties, disruption to international security and order, and challenges and threats to world peace,” the document said. “The status and role of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory export control measures is growing in importance as an effective means to address international and regional security risks and challenges and safeguard world peace and development.” But China still argues that international coordination on export controls should give emerging markets and developing countries more representation since global governance reform has reached a “historic turning point”. As US-China trade deal nears end, what’s really happening behind the scenes? The white paper said that China will shoulder its responsibility as a major power to increase its footprints in international engagement around the export controls. The commerce ministry also said improving export controls would not set the country back from its commitments of opening wider to the world. China tightened its export rules as its new control law came into effect in December last year. The law has been viewed as bearing resemblance to US Export Administration Regulations. China had already overhauled its list of restricted exports in August 2020, adding 24 technologies including drones and lasers.