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China Imposes Export Controls on Crucial Metals, Asserting Its Position in Global Chips Supply Chain

China’s decision to impose export restrictions on two crucial metals used in semiconductor production and electric vehicles serves as a clear warning that the country will not allow itself to be passively excluded from the global chips supply chain, according to an editorial by the Chinese state media tabloid, the Global Times.

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China Imposes Export Controls on Chipmaking Metals

Published on Tuesday, the editorial argues that the control measures implemented on gallium and germanium exports represent a practical means of conveying to the United States and its allies that their attempts to limit it’s access to advanced technology are a miscalculation. Additionally, it contends that China has long exploited its own rare earth resources, at the expense of the environment, to meet the demands of the global semiconductor industry.

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“Given these circumstances, why should it not adjust and exercise caution in depleting its limited rare-earth resources to support those who have aligned themselves with the US-led ‘decoupling’ movement against China?,” the editorial questions.

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The Global Times further emphasizes that China should not continue exhausting its mineral resources only to face obstacles in its pursuit of technological development.

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While the export controls do not imply a complete ban on the metals, the Chinese authorities will possess the right to reject export applications for products with potential military use or those that may undermine China’s national security and interests, the newspaper adds.

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China’s sudden announcement of these controls, effective from August 1, has escalated the ongoing trade war with the United States and could potentially disrupt global supply chains even further.

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Analysts perceive this move, framed by the Chinese commerce ministry as a measure to safeguard national security, as a response to the intensifying efforts by Washington to limit it’s technological progress. Notably, this development coincided with the lead-up to the U.S. Independence Day and shortly before the scheduled visit of U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen to Beijing.