(China) Will China weaponise its rare earth edge? (East Asia Forum)

Kristin Vekasi, University of Maine

In January 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology discussed the possibility of restricting rare earth mineral exports to the United States, marking yet another salvo in the increasing technological competition between the two countries. While it remains unlikely that China will place strict trade restrictions on the United States for rare earths or other critical minerals, China will almost certainly continue to strategically use its comparative advantage to promote broader industrial policy goals.

Will China weaponise its rare earth edge?