Chinese lawmaker calls for national rare earth reserve

17:11, March 12, 2010      

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China should set up a national reserve of rare earth resources and work out development strategies for rare earth-related new and high-tech industries "as soon as possible," a lawmaker said in Beijing Friday.

"Without rare earth, there would be no new and high technologies," Hu'ercha, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) from north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, said on the sidelines of the legislative body's annual session.

"The government should attach greater importance to the purchase and storage of the strategic resources."

Hu'ercha, also mayor of Inner Mongolia's Baotou city, home to 75 percent of China's rare earth reserve, urged the country to work out policies to support the development of rare earth-related industries and set up a development fund to strengthen basic research on rare earth.

Rare earth, which include minerals such as dysprosium, terbium, thulium, lutetium and yttrium, is widely used in fields of most sophisticated science and technologies like electronics, aviation, atomic energy, and mechanical manufacturing.

Though China supplies about 90 percent of the world's rare earth, it has little say on international pricing due to inadequate industrial innovation and slow development of high-end products.

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