Exclusive US bill to block defence contractors from using Chinese rare-earth minerals

The US relies heavily on China's supply of rare earth, a crucial raw material for high-tech products including weapons.
Image for representational purpose only (File | Photo)
Image for representational purpose only (File | Photo)

WASHINGTON: A new rare-earth bill was introduced in the US Senate on Friday, aiming to force defence contractors to end the use of rare earth minerals sourced from China by 2026.

Reacting to the US move, Chinese experts said that "it is another political move of the US against the backdrop of its attempt to contain China's growth, but it will not obstruct the development of China's rare-earth sector", reported Global Times.

"It is not a surprising move given Washington's series of moves aiming to set up its own rare-earth supply chain", Liu Enqiao a senior analyst at Beijing-based Anbound Consulting, told the Global Times.

The broader context behind the move is the deteriorating US-China relations. Moreover, the US relies heavily on China's supply of rare earth, a crucial raw material for high-tech products including weapons.

China holds 44 million tons of rare earth reserves, accounting for 36.7 per cent of the global stockpile. In 2020, China produced 140,000 tons of rare earth, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of global output, reported Global Times.

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