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China studies limiting rare earth exports to US

China is considering limiting exports to the United States of rare earths, minerals vital to the technology industry, which could harm the American defense sector, reports the British newspaper Financial Times (FT) today.

According to the economic journal, which cites sources that participate in government consultations, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies last January proposed greater control over the production and export of 17 of these minerals, a market that China controls in about 80%.

The FT points out that China is therefore examining whether these restrictions could affect European and North American companies and, in particular, whether they will impact on technologies vital to the production of sophisticated weapons, including the “F-35 fighter plane”. ‘from the United States Air Force.

The “F-35” depend on these minerals to feed the electricity system, says the British economic daily, which adds that, in a report from the North American Congress, each device needs 417 kilograms of these minerals.

These possible Beijing measures, the FT points out, correspond to the deterioration in relations between China and the United States, aggravated by the appearance of a technological war between the two countries.

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