China can use strategically important rare earth metals in high-tech industries demand as a trump card in the growing trade war with the US United States, SCMP reported.
The edition drew attention to Chinese leader, Xi Jinping’s visit to the JL Mag Rare-Earth enterprise in the eastern province of Jiangxi, the object of production of rare-earth metals. . On his first domestic trip since the escalation of the US-China trade war this month, Xi was accompanied by vice-premier Liu He, who has been the top negotiator with Washington amid the ongoing dispute.
According to experts, the visit sends a signal that Beijing can use rare earth metals as a trump card in the trade war with the US, and also indicates the authorities' readiness to support this industry. After Xi Jinping’s trip, Chinese manufacturers ’shares showed rapid growth. In particular, the securities of China Rare Earth Holding on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday soared 108%.
China is the world's largest producer of rare earth metals and their key supplier in the US. The country satisfies up to 80% of the global demand for this raw material, which is highly demanded in high-tech areas. This group includes 17 elements used in electronics, chemical, automotive, optics, military technology and many other areas. In 2018, 120 thousand tons of rare-earth elements were mined in China - about 71% of the global production.
According to the source, the US deliberately excluded this category of strategically important commodities from the list of Chinese exports, which will be subject to increased duties.
Since May 10, the US has once again raised tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% for a total of $ 200 billion.