The trade war has intensified since Washington increased tariffs on Chinese products in early May. It is now coupled with a technological war: the Trump administration has banned US companies from selling technology to Huawei, the world’s second-largest handset, jeopardizing China’s essential supply of electronic chips.
Faced with Trump, China’s official political leaders now threaten the threat of a reduction in rare earth exports to the United States – which could deprive Washington of a crucial resource for high-tech.
Because China provided more than 90% of global production of this set of 17 metals, essential to advanced technologies and found in telephones, plasma screens, electric vehicles, but also in weapons.
Asked to know the rare earth could be a weapon of retaliation against the United States, an official of the powerful economic planning agency (NDRC) issued Tuesday night an aggressive tone.
“If anyone wants to use products made from our rare earth exports to slow China’s development, then I think […] the Chinese people will be unhappy,” he warned.
“Like a weapon.”
These statements follow President Xi Jinping’s noteworthy visit to a rare earth processing plant last week-something that had already been interpreted as an implicit threat just after the US threats against Huawei.
Xi argued that “rare earth is an important strategic resource”. “It is only in possession of an independent technology (that we) can remain invincible,” he added, seeming to make the connection with the case Huawei.
The Beijing media hit the nail on Wednesday. “By launching a trade war against China, the United States runs the risk of losing a supply of vital materials for their technological power,” noted the official agency China New.
“If the United States tries to block the development of China, sooner or later it will use rare earth as a weapon,” warned the Global Times.
Analysts believe, however, that Beijing may be reluctant to use the level of minerals, so as not to accelerate the search for alternative solutions to these raw materials.
“If China decides to block rare earth exports to the United States, it could lead to complicated consequences, including losses for China itself,” said the Global Times, often with a nationalistic tone.
“China, however, knows very well that it is the United States that will suffer the most”.
Huawei, the global leader of 5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks, is attacking the judiciary: he has announced that he has asked a US court to cancel the “tyrannical” ban made the year last to the federal agencies to buy its equipment.
Indexed by Washington on suspicion of potential espionage in favour of Beijing, the group had already filed a lawsuit in March in Texas against the law, ruling that the US Congress could never justify the restrictions ” unconstitutional “against the company.
“The US government has not provided any evidence that Huawei is a threat to security. There is no weapon or smoke. Only suppositions, “Song Liuping, the company’s chief legal officer, told a press conference from his headquarters in Shenzhen (south).
Earlier in the day, quoted by state-run CCTV television, he denounced the “obvious” will of the Trump administration to “drive Huawei out of the US market” and the “tyrannical” ban on the purchase of his equipment by state organs. Federal.
A rare sign of appeasement in the growing tension between the two sides of the Pacific, the US Treasury acknowledged Tuesday that none of the major trading partners of the United States – including China, therefore – had manipulated its currency to draw an undue advantage.
The charge of handling the yuan was one of the most used by Donald Trump to say that Beijing was unfairly competing with American entrepreneurs.
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Colin has been working in the business industry for quite a sometime and he recently made the decision to become a full-time business journalist. At Daily Research News, he also helps us take care of the business writing.