China has called on other countries to provide it a non-discriminatory market environment after the German government blocked the sale of a semiconductor factory to a Chinese firm.

China’s foreign ministry said countries, including Germany, should refrain from politicizing normal economic and trade cooperation or using national security as a pretext to practice protectionism.

If the Chinese response to a highly disappointing move sounds as if Beijing were chewing nails while pretending to contemplate their flavor judiciously, there did indeed appear to be a studied effort in Beijing not to appear to overreact. Hopes for Germany, after all, had loomed large – and still do, even after this setback – in China’s strategy for fighting the US-led chips war.

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