Chinese slam US Nobel Laureate online for rare earth stance

16:35, October 28, 2010      

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Paul Krugman, the U.S. Nobel Laureate in Economics, recently raised the hackles of Chinese netizens and the Chinese media after he had published a commentary titled "Rare and Foolish" in the New York Times criticizing China as "a rogue economic superpower."

Some Chinese scholars have said that while China has been providing the world with a lot of cheap rare earth resources for many years, some people in Western countries are just not happy with the fact that China has begun to cherish their own resources.

Some netizens pointed out that China supplies 97 percent of the world's rare earth export at extremely low prices. Therefore, it is reasonable for China to close the door gradually on exporting rare earths. Despite this, what China is doing is gradually reducing its export volume, rather than immediately stopping the exports.

Some netizens have questioned why the United States, which also refuses to sell certain kinds of products to China, is not criticized? What’s wrong with China's rare earth output reduction to protect the environment? Why should China that owns only one-third of the world’s rare earth bear 97 percent of the consumption of the resource?

Some netizens have even angrily denounced Krugman as a rogue economist that talks nonsense.

Recently, the Chinese rare-earth policy has attracted worldwide attention. Although the Ministry of Commerce has denied a media report about further reduction of the rare earth export quota in 2011, it has confirmed that WTO-consistent measures on restrictions of rare earth mining, production and export would continue. A Xinhua report said that the quota for 2011 would be based on the output, domestic and international demand and the need for sustainable development.

"Every country has the right to make reasonable use of its domestic resources...The core purpose (of China's rare earth export restriction) is to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development," said Ma Zhaoxu, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry on Oct.19.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:石希)

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