The Chinese ambassador to South Korea on Monday met a lawmaker there who has advocated a chip alliance with the US, Japan and Taiwan, in a sign that Beijing is stepping up its efforts to dissuade its neighbour from joining the US-initiated alliance. Ambassador Xing Haiming told Yang Hyang-ja, a Samsung Electronics executive-turned-lawmaker who is head of the Semiconductor Industry Special Committee, that China and Korea should “exclude external interference” when it comes to cooperation in the semiconductor industry, the Chinese Embassy in Seoul said in a statement on its WeChat social media account . The meeting has taken place as China ramps up its rhetoric against US efforts to establish the Chip 4 Alliance, a partnership seen by Beijing as a plot by Washington to exclude China from semiconductor value chains. The US has been ramping up trade sanctions against China in recent years, banning US firms from exporting advanced technology to the country on national security grounds. Beijing is growing increasingly concerned about losing critical materials and equipment supplies, especially in the semiconductor industry, an area where it wants to create greater self-sufficiency. South Korea is a crucial supplier of memory chips for China and both South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix operate fabs in China. In the statement Xing Haiming said that bilateral cooperation with South Korea in various fields over the past 30 years had achieved fruitful results, bringing benefits to the people of both countries. Upgraded trade talks with EU on chips signal advance in Taiwan’s standing “Facts have proven that economic, trade and industrial cooperation between the two sides is in line with the common interests of both countries,” Xing said in the statement. “China is willing to work with the Korean side, excluding external interference, to strengthen cooperation in areas such as semiconductors, and to jointly maintain the stability of the global industry and supply chains.” Yang Hyang-ja, in June accepted an offer from the ruling People Power Party in South Korea to chair the special parliamentary committee on semiconductors, Yonhap News Agency reported earlier. Yang said last week that South Korea should join the US-led chip alliance. “South Korea’s membership of the alliance is essential not only to compete better with individual enterprises, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and Intel, but also to strengthen national security,” Business Korea quoted her as saying. TSMC is the world’s largest contract chip maker. Yang was quoted by Korean media as saying that while Seoul needs to join the US-led alliance, it also needs to maintain cooperation with China. “Both Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are producing chips in China, and they have to be protected in any case,” she was quoted as saying.