App | 中文 |

Beijing puts down marker on rare earths

Ren Xiaojin/Zhong Nan/Jing Shuiyu
Updated: May 31,2019 6:52 AM     China Daily

China will not allow any countries to use products made from its rare-earth exports to impede China’s development, the Ministry of Commerce said on May 30.

Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman, said China has been the world’s largest supplier of rare-earth materials and has always been willing to meet the demand of its trade partners for this material to promote the rare-earth industry. He made the comment at a news conference in Beijing when asked if China will stop exporting rare-earth materials to the United States.

The ministry’s remarks came after the Trump administration raised tariffs on Chinese goods and restricted Huawei’s business operations, which has harmed the interests of companies and financial markets on both sides.

“While satisfying domestic demand, China is always willing to fulfill other countries’ rightful needs for rare-earth materials,” he said.

But if any country plans to use products made from its rare-earth exports to hamper China’s development, it is not acceptable, he added.

Rare earths currently are strategic and indispensable elements in making high-tech products such as electric vehicles, military equipment and smartphones, as well as aeronautical and medical instruments.

Also on May 30, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the US has made moves that contradict principles based on the rules of the World Trade Organization, as well as acts featuring unilateralism.

These moves have caused serious harm to countries including the US itself as well as the global economy, he said.

Gao, from the Ministry of Commerce, said that the US government is the one to blame for its contradictory actions that have led to escalating trade friction with China.

The US government has been sending contradictory signals, by saying that the two countries will soon reach an agreement and then saying that it is not ready.

US President Donald Trump said on May 27 in Japan that Washington is not ready to strike a trade deal with China, but he’s leaving open the possibility that the two nations could reach an agreement someday.

Wang Zhaoxing, vice-chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said as trade protectionism and unilateralism have been rising, the global economic and trade system has been seriously disturbed.

“Only by firmly upholding the rules of world trade and adhering to openness and cooperation can we further promote the common prosperity of the world economy,” Wang said at an economic conference in Beijing.

Wang said various opening-up measures in the financial industry are on the way, which have received positive market responses. Financial institutions in several countries and regions have expressed their willingness to further increase investment in China, he said.

China welcomes the investment from the financial institutions of all countries and will continue to fulfill its commitments to create an environment featuring fair competition for both China and foreign countries and a regulatory environment for shared development, Wang added.