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China presses Dutch minister for access to chipmaking tech blocked on security grounds


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Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, left, and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang hold a joint news conference following their meeting in Beijing, China, Tuesday May 23, 2023. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

By Joe Mcdonald in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — China’s foreign minister pressed his Dutch counterpart Tuesday for access to advanced chipmaking technology that has been blocked on security grounds and warned against allowing what he said were unfounded fears of Beijing to spoil relations.

Chinese frustration with curbs imposed by the Netherlands, Washington and Japan on chip technology has added to political strains at a time when Beijing is threatening to attack Taiwan and is increasingly assertive toward other Asian neighbors.

There was no indication the Netherlands changed its restriction on the supply of lithography machines available only from a single Dutch company that use ultraviolet light to etch tiny circuits on next-generation processor chips. Lack of that tool is holding back Chinese efforts to develop chips for smartphones, artificial intelligence and other advanced applications.

“As for the issue of lithography machines, China has serious concerns about this,” Qin Gang said at a joint news conference. “We should work together to jointly protect the normal trade order between us, the international trade rules and to jointly keep the global industrial and supply chains stable.”

The Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands earlier threatened possible unspecified retaliation, but the ministers gave no indication they discussed that in their 2 1/2-hour meeting.

“We have shared our national security concerns,” said the Dutch minister, Wopke Hoekstra. “I’ve, of course, clearly listened to his, and this is typically an issue where we will continue our dialogue.”

Beijing appears to be trying to improve relations with European governments and possibly split some away from alliances with Washington.

Political analysts have suggested that is part of the motivation behind Beijing’s decision to send an envoy to discuss a possible settlement of the Ukraine war. Analysts see little hope of peace but say the initiative gives Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government a chance to deflect Western criticism of its friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Qin appealed for patience while the envoy, Li Hui, visits European governments to discuss a possible “political settlement.”

Hoekstra, who also is the Dutch deputy prime minister, said he and Qin “talked extensively about the war” but gave no details.

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine must stop and Europe and Netherlands will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes and whatever necessary,” Hoekstra said.

Qin tried to downplay security fears about Beijing.

“What China exports is opportunity, not crisis,” he said.

The Chinese minister complained about the “abnormal phenomenon” of what he said was fears about China being exaggerated by unspecified “intelligence departments.”

“Then their accusations are being exaggerated by the media,” Qin said. “The result is that it erodes the popular support for the friendship between our two countries.”

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Canadian Press NewsAlert: Suncor cutting 1,500 jobs

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Suncor Energy Inc. says it is cutting 1,500 jobs by the end of the year in an effort to reduce costs and improve the company’s lagging performance.

The Calgary-based energy company says employees were informed in an email this afternoon.

More coming.

The Canadian Press

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Peavey Industries LP, the Red Deer-based retailer, has announced the acquisition of long-term partner and fellow Red Deer stalwart, Guy’s Freightways.

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News release from Peavey Industries

Guy’s Freightways, a leading logistics and transport company established in 1975 by Bernie Schwartz, began its journey as a single truck operation delivering products to just six Peavey Mart stores. Today, with 16 full-time trucks and 43 trailers, Guy’s has evolved alongside Peavey Mart, now part of Peavey Industries LP, to service their vast retail network across in Canada.

National Farmway Stores, founded in 1967 and later rebranded as Peavey Mart in 1975- has grown exponentially over the decades. Today, Peavey Industries LP (Red Deer, Alberta) has more than 160 retail locations with its brands Peavey Mart, ACE Canada & MainStreet Hardware, with Guy’s Freightways being instrumental in ensuring reliable product delivery to many of these stores in Canada.

The acquisition will see Guy’s Freightways operate as a subsidiary of Peavey Industries LP. This strategic move solidifies an already close relationship that has endured for nearly 50 years. Peavey Industries LP recognizes the enormous value that Guy’s Freightways has brought to their operations, having played a pivotal role in their expansive growth over the years.

‘We’ve had a great relationship with Peavey for 48 years, so it was only natural to have Peavey continue the Guy’s legacy. I’m thrilled for our people to be able to continue being a part of the Peavey family’ said Todd Schwartz, Guy’s Freightways.

‘Today marks a historic moment for both Peavey Industries LP and Guy’s Freightways,’ said Doug Anderson, CEO of Peavey Industries LP. ‘By formalizing this symbiotic relationship, we are enhancing our operational efficiency while preserving Guy’s Freightways’ legacy. We look forward to continuing our growth journey together.’

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