Global Times recently reported that China’s Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs announced the implementation of export controls on items related to gallium and germanium. This has aroused great concern, and some worry that rare earths could be the next target. The Goldman Sachs Group predicted that the West may need to invest more than US$25 billion to rival the supply of rare earths from China. China’s rare earth production accounts for 90 percent of the world’s total refined production. As extremely important scarce strategic resources, gallium and germanium are widely used in cutting-edge technology fields such as satellite communications, solar cells, semiconductors and artificial intelligence. At present, these two rare metals are listed as 35 key minerals by the United States and 61 key raw materials by the European Union. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that items related to gallium and germanium have obvious military and civilian dual-purpose uses. And it is a common international practice to implement export controls on items related to gallium and germanium. China announced the measure just before U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen’s visit to China. Some media outlets said that China’s move was intended to send a signal to the U.S. – China is demonstrating it won’t let repression go, China can fight back.
Source: Global Times, July 7, 2023