China assures Clinton on rare earth exports

Oct 30, 2010 By MATTHEW LEE , Associated Press
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during the ASEAN summit Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

(AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday sought and received assurances from China's foreign minister about the country's export of exotic metals key to the global high-tech industry, a U.S. official said.

The official said Clinton raised the matter with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of a summit of East Asian leaders in Vietnam. Clinton "sought clarification on the Chinese government's policy on the export of and received assurances," the official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private diplomatic conversation, did not specify what the assurances were. But China this week said it would not use the exports of rare earth minerals as a political bargaining chip with other countries.

Recent Chinese restrictions on the sale of rare earths have drawn international concern and prompted calls for nations to diversify the production of the minerals, which are needed to produce items such as cell phones, missiles and solar energy panels,

China now produces 97 percent of the world's supply after most of the industrialized world, including the United States, Japan and Europe, largely abandoned their production in favor of cheaper Chinese exports.

Earlier in Hawaii, Clinton said Chinese export restrictions imposed on Japan in the midst of a deepening territorial dispute were a "wake-up call" for the world to find additional sources of rare earths.

Japanese companies say Beijing has blocked shipments to Japan since Sept. 21 after a Chinese fishing boat captain was detained near disputed islands. The captain was later released but Japanese authorities say supplies have yet to resume.

Explore further: Microsoft sues Samsung alleging contract breach

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China says rare earths not a 'bargaining tool'

Oct 28, 2010

(AP) -- China said Thursday it will not use exports of rare earths, exotic minerals required by high-tech industry, as a diplomatic "bargaining tool" while Washington pressed Beijing to clarify its policy following its de ...

Traders: China resumes rare earth exports to Japan

Sep 29, 2010

(AP) -- Beijing has apparently told Chinese companies they can resume exports to Japan of rare earth minerals used in high-tech products but is holding up shipments with tighter customs inspections, two Japanese trading ...

Traders: China halts rare earth exports to Japan

Sep 24, 2010

(AP) -- China has halted exports to Japan of rare earth elements - which are crucial for advanced manufacturing - trading company officials said Friday amid tensions between the rival Asian powers over a territorial dispute.

Recommended for you

Microsoft sues Samsung alleging contract breach

2 hours ago

Microsoft on Friday sued Samsung in federal court claiming the South Korean giant had breached a contract over cross-license technology used in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

Apple closes acquisition of Beats music

9 hours ago

Apple said Friday it closed its $3 billion deal for Beats, the high-end audio equipment and streaming music service, a tie-up that could allow the iPhone maker to reach new audiences.

User comments : 0