Rare earths will not be used as a bargaining instrument, says China

New Delhi, Oct. 29 (ANI): China has said that it will not use rare earths as a diplomatic "bargaining tool", in response to challenges against its management of the vital metals.

The China Daily quoted Zhu Hongren, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesman, as saying in Beijing that China will seek international cooperation to solve recent disputes over rare earths.

"China will not use rare earths as an instrument for bargaining. Instead, we hope to cooperate with other countries in the use of rare earths on the basis of win-win outcomes and jointly protect the non-renewable resource," he added.

China has cut export quotas for rare earths, vital for the production of a range of high-tech products, as reserves slumped, due in part to smuggling.

There were earlier reports that it would further cut quotas next year, but the Ministry of Commerce denied the reports.

Zhu said that China's restrictions on rare earth exports are for long-term development.

The Commerce Ministry said China's reserves of medium and heavy rare earths may only last 15 to 20 years at the current rate of production, which could lead to China being forced to import supplies.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that it is China's legitimate right to manage its own reserves. (ANI)

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