China is firing back against the West’s threats to ban Chinese companies, with plans to ban exports of vital rare Earth elements.
According to The Yomiuri Shimbun, China plans to ban exports of elements used to create rare earth magnets. The magnets, in turn, are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, and more. China is citing “national security” as the reason, much as the US and its allies are using the label to threaten bans of TikTok and other China-based companies.
According to the outlet, China currently dominates the supply of such materials, posing a major threat to the EV market if its stops exports:
China is estimated to hold an about 84% share of the global market in neodymium magnets and an over 90% interest in samarium cobalt magnets. Japan, meanwhile, has about 15% of the neodymium magnet market and a less-than-10% share of that for samarium cobalt.
If China bans the export of such technologies, it would be difficult for the United States and Europe, which do not traditionally manufacture rare earth magnets, to newly enter the market, thus making those countries totally dependent on China, according to a European source.
If China goes through with its plans, it will significantly ratchet up tensions between East and West.