The US is considering relaxing restrictions to allow China to purchase American military technology, The Wall Street Journal reported. Beijing has long complained that US limits on exports of high-tech equipment that could have military applications – such as aircraft engines, underwater cameras and propulsion systems, and telecom equipment – are overly restrictive and amount to protectionism. US officials now say they plan to travel to Shanghai in late May with a group of American tech companies to discuss what equipment Chinese companies and government agencies might be allowed to purchase. “We are in the midst of a major reform and simplification that will enable more high-tech goods to be exported to China,” said Gary Locke, the US ambassador to China, last week. Proponents of reform on the US tech export restrictions say loosening regulations could boost US exports and reduce America’s trade deficit with China. However, the move risks sparking a backlash from right-wing officials in the US in an election year.