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

May 31, 2019
Chinese newspapers warned on Wednesday in strongly worded commentaries that China was planning to use rare earths to strike back at the United States, a move that would escalate tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
 
According to Reuters, President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths plant last week had sparked speculation that China would use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the trade war.
 
Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment. The prospect that their value could soar as a result of the trade war caused sharp increases in the share prices of producers, including the company visited by Xi.
 
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