Rare earth metal is an ace card for China and they know how to use it. The new reports revealed China has decreased the exports of rare earth metals by at least 43.8%. However, production in China has largely increased.
Hence, China is stockpiling rare earth resources.
China exported 2003.3 tonnes of rare earth in September, as compared to 3570 tonnes in September 2019. In the first nine months, the country has exported 26,019.4 tonnes this year.
The Chinese Ministry said that the drop in export is due to the coronavirus impact. The ministry said,
“Chinese companies also carry out international trade business based on changes in international market demand and risk conditions,” reported the Asia Times Financial.
China is the biggest producer and seller of rare earth metal in the world. The metal is most important for high tech industries globally.
The United States imports almost 80% of its rare earth from China. The US has previously imposed sanctions and held back technological products, and China is now pushing back hard with its trump card.
But is there a counter mechanism available? Well, the US is already putting the rare earth under military control. However, this is a time-consuming process.
The US can look towards other countries to import. The US also has rare earth but mining is an issue due to environmental challenges. The same goes for Ireland, Russia, Australia, and India. However, if those challenges are overcome, China might lose its dominance.
Rare earth is a powerful weapon just like water for China and the Communist Party would do everything to exploit. They already effectively regulate the price.
Now by stockpiling and reducing export, the nefarious design of CCP is wide open.