Beijing sent another warning to America over rare earths: trade war or not, we could squeeze you, at any time.
That’s according to a recent Global Times, editorial, which argues that China has several tactical options besides this one in the rare earth market.
“China doesn’t necessarily need to continue cutting the exports of rare-earth minerals. One option for China is to export the minerals as usual to markets including the US,” says the editorial.“As long as China dominates the world’s rare-earth output, Washington will be under constant pressure from Beijing even though there is no restriction on rare-earth exports.”
Why? Because America relies heavily on China’s rare earth supplies for its needs.
“The excessive reliance of the US on China’s rare earths is the fundamental reason why Washington is under pressure. China is in no hurry to ban rare-earths exports,” notes the Global Times, “and the best choice is to maintain a deterrent force on the US in the long run by using rare earths as leverage.”
But China won’t rule out using this “ace,” if the US-China trade war worsens.
“China doesn’t want to restrict the export of rare-earth minerals to escalate the trade war with the US, but Washington must not push China too hard,” continues the editorial.
That echoes the first warning China gave to America in May, at the high of the US-China trade war. Back then, Beijing threatened cutting off rare earth metal supplies to US technology and defense industries. We wrote about it in a previous piece.