China Considers Banning Some Rare Earth Magnet Technology Exports
According to “Nikkei Asia” reported on Thursday (April 6), Chinese officials plan to revise the list of technology export restrictions. The revised content will prohibit or restrict the export of technology for processing and refining rare earth elements, and also proposes to prohibit or restrict the export of alloy technology required to extract high-performance magnets from rare earth.
China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Science and Technology announced the draft list in December last year, which contains 43 amendments or supplements. The revisions are expected to come into force this year after the authorities have completed a public consultation with experts. The last time China revised the list was in 2020.
High-performance magnets are used in a wide range of applications, such as motors in electric vehicles. In 2010, China suspended the export of rare earths to Japan due to the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyu Islands. Japan specializes in the production of high-performance magnets, while the United States produces products using these magnets. This incident aroused the vigilance of the United States and Japan in terms of economic security.
Japanese government spokesman and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroichi Matsuno pointed out that China, the world’s largest rare earth exporter, is now considering playing the “rare earth card”. Chinese officials are planning to revise a list of technology export restrictions that will prohibit or restrict the processing and refining of rare earth elements. technology export.
Matsuno pointed out that there are also proposed provisions that would ban or restrict the export of alloy technology used to make high-performance magnets derived from rare earths, and the export of technology for the production of silicon for solar panels is also expected to be restricted. High-performance magnets can be used in a wide range of applications, such as electric vehicle motors.
“While the Chinese government is still considering revisions and has not yet implemented them, we will closely monitor the institutional impact in China,” Matsuno said.
Washington has since built a rare earth supply chain on U.S. soil. China’s share of global rare earth production has fallen from about 90 percent a decade ago to about 70 percent last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
With China lagging behind in advanced semiconductors, “they are likely to use rare earth as a bargaining chip because rare earth is Japan’s and the U.S.’s weakness,” said a source in the resources sector.
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