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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

West's rare earth claim against China unreasonable

By Tang Huazhen (Beijing Daily)

08:58, March 17, 2012

Edited and translated by Li Kunlun, People's Daily Online

Recently, the United States, Japan and the European Union have filed a case against China at the World Trade Organization, challenging its restrictions on rare earth exports, which aroused public attention again.

Western countries have launched attack on China over the issue of rare earth many times since China began to strengthen the management and production. They accused China of breaking agreed rules by setting quotas for exports of rare earth and some media even criticized it "as a selfish behavior". It is unreasonable, as the proverb goes, “Give a dog a bad name, and hang him”. China has more than 36 percent of world’s rare earth deposits but accounts for 90 percent of the world's exports market share.

Although it decreased in the past few years, the export quotas are still higher than the demand of the world market. Besides setting quotas for rare earth exports, China also takes measures to manage rare earth's exploitation, production and other activities. China complies with the rules of WTO environmental exceptions by treating domestic and foreign industries without discrimination, rather than "protects the domestic industries in a distorting way" as the western countries speculate.

In fact, it is not China that is selfish but the United States, the EU, and Japan that are aggressive. They know deeply the importance of protecting the rare earth resources and had already banned or restricted the exploitation of their own rare earth. China has done nothing more than reversing the long-standing, out-of-order mining conditions, focusing on domestic economic and environmental development, international trade balance as well as sustainable development.

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Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

LovingChina at 2012-03-17183.39.34.*
Rare earth and even gold mining efforts (*though current high prices are tempting*) must be curtailed to preserve for the future as well as to protect the precious environmental & ecological situations in China which are and have been so very badly damaged already thru negligence, corruptions and greed no better than sabotaging their own China. Those USA, EU & Japan are all criminal supportive activists since and because they care NOT about China"s welfare and interests. Just ask or tell them to "PISS-OFF" and "HAND-OFF"; lest we forget that they can dig up their own soils and/or buy from somewhere else like Australia, Brazil, India, etc..
ASEAN at 2012-03-17220.255.1.*
First please allow me to talk about oil. A few decades back, oil fields were found in the middle east countries. In the 70s, US manage to convince the world to use US Dollars as the reserve currency. So for the past few decades, the arabs in the middle east allow the US to buy oil ( which would be getting rare in the next hundred years ) with paper US Dollars. What the US has to do is just print paper dollars. In the next 100 years when the oil fields in the arab countries run dry, the people in the middle east would face a big problem. They would then import oil from overseas, probably from USA. Because now USA is not mining their oil in Alaska. They are keeping it for the future. So similarly China must take care of its rare earth materials for future generation. If you start mining everything that you have now, in future you may have to buy rare earth from the west at 50 to 100 times what you are selling to them now. Everything in this world is about supply and demand. The sensible things to do now is reduced your supply and take care of the future generation. In fact China should do exactly the same as what the US did regarding oil.
WJL at 2012-03-17114.76.49.*
There is no need to fear such reprehensible trade actions. Do what is right and you will overcome all these irrational attackes by the west. During the last 5 years, they could have open at a dozen mines or more in their own countries. There is a well known term for these type of selfish western action - NIMBY - Not In My BackYard.

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