In another chapter of the ongoing saga of the US-China trade war, China has promised to release new policies on the export of its rare earth metals “as soon as possible.
” The country had earlier threatened to curb exports of rare earth to the United States as retaliation for the banning of American companies and technologies from doing business with Huawei.
Beijing’s National Development and Reform Commission announced that it had met with industry leaders and experts to gather recommendations on the proposed policy. The curbing of exports was recommended.
Rare earth metals are a group of 17 chemical elements that are crucial in the production of high-tech items such as hospital scanners, smartphones, and missiles. Between 2014 and 2017, China supplied 80 percent of the rare earths that were exported to the US although Washington claimed that they have begun implementing ways to reduce the country’s reliance on China.
A National Development and Reform Commission spokesperson announced that China was ready for a long-term trade war and that the proposed policy would help in emphasizing the “special value” of rare earths as one of the country’s “strategic resources.”
The spokesperson also said that China was open to helping other countries develop their own rare earths minerals industry, but only if it would be “mutually beneficial.”
The spokesperson added: “Certain countries ignore the world’s trading regulations and damage the globalized industry chains. We firmly opposed to this.
“Anyone who attempts to use the products made with Chinese rare earths to suppress and bring down China’s development, we firmly opposed to it too.”
A commentary in the Qiushi (or Seeking Truth), an ideological journal, said that China would stand fast against US demands in negotiations to end the trade war.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, said in a tweet that the commentary was evidence of “a further mobilization of Chinese society” against US pressure.
The commentary further said: “China will not be afraid of any threats or pressure the United States is making that may escalate economic and trade frictions. China has no choice, nor escape route, and will just have to fight it out till the end.
“No one, no force should underestimate and belittle the steel will of the Chinese people and its strength and tenacity to fight a war.”
The commentary further criticized the US for trying to hamper China’s technological innovation.
“We must keep the initiative of innovation and development firmly in our hands, increase investment and research in key, core technology areas, pool together more high-value talents, enhance innovation and get rid of the core technology plight,” it said.
The article also warned that it would be US citizens who will lose out the most in the trade war.
It said: “In an era of economic globalization, trade protectionism is poison, not a panacea,” noting that higher tariffs will only increase manufacturing costs for US businesses as well as trigger more consumer inflation.
“As a result of the trade frictions, only a very few Americans will benefit, but the majority of Americans will suffer.”
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