China’s metal export curbs a ‘warning’ to US and its allies – Global Times

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s move to restrict the exports of two metals crucial for making some types of semiconductors and electric vehicles is a warning that China will not be passively squeezed out of the global chips supply chain, the Global Times said.

In an editorial published late on Tuesday, the Chinese state media tabloid said the imposition of controls on exports of some gallium and germanium products was a “practical way” of telling the U.S. and its allies that their efforts to curb China from procuring more advanced technology was a “miscalculation”.

It also argued that China had for years exploited its own rare earth resources at the expense of the environment to supply the global semiconductor industry.

“Under such circumstances, why can’t China make the necessary adjustments and be more cautious about consuming its limited rare-earth resources to support those that have been sided with the US-led “decoupling” push from China?,” it said.

“There’s no reason for China to continue exhausting its own mineral resources, only to be blocked from pursuing technological development…,” it said.

The controls do not mean that China will ban exports of the metals but authorities will have the right to reject export applications if the products involve military use or are used in scenarios that may undermine China’s national security and interests, the newspaper added.

China’s abrupt announcement of controls from Aug. 1 on exports of the metals has ramped up a trade war with the United States and could potentially cause more disruption to global supply chains.

Analysts saw the move, which the Chinese commerce ministry said was to protect national security, as a response to escalating efforts by Washington to curb China’s technological advances. It came on the eve of the U.S. Independence Day and just before U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen visits Beijing.

China’s commerce ministry did not respond to a request from Reuters for further comment.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)