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China ready to hit back at U.S. with rare earths: newspapers

Chinese newspapers on Wednesday reported that the Chinese government’s next move in its trade war with the United States may be the restriction of rare earths exports to the US. Rare-earth elements (REEs) are used for the production of smart phones, computers and other technological devices, as well as military equipment and other products. Since China is by far the world’s largest supplier of REEs, export restrictions could significantly impact the US economy.

The official newspaper of the Chinese communist party warned the US “not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests” and mentioned that it was “no mystery” whether or not rare earths will “become a counter weapon for China to hit back against the pressure the United States has put on for no reason at all.” Another Chinese newspaper described export restrictions on REEs as “a powerful weapon if used in the China-US trade war.”

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OODA Analyst

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