Fears that ASML's computer chip equipment will be used for Chinese military ends underlie recent decisions to deny the company export licenses, the Dutch trade minister said in answers to questions from parliament.

Netherlands-based ASML, Europe's largest tech firm, dominates the world market for lithography systems, needed by computer chipmakers to help create circuitry.

"China focuses on foreign expertise, including Dutch expertise in the field of lithography, to promote self-sufficiency in its military-technical development," Trade Minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen wrote in a Feb. 5 note.