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China urges global cooperation on rare earths in jab at US

Shoring up independence in key industries is focus of next five-year plan

Crushed rare-earth ore from a California mine. China accounts for 60% or so of the world's production of rare-earth minerals.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Countries should work together to address the demand for rare-earth minerals and products, the Chinese industry and information technology minister said Monday, in an apparent swipe at U.S. President Joe Biden's effort to create supply chains less reliant on China.

Xiao Yaqing defended Beijing's draft regulations to strengthen oversight of rare earths, released earlier this year. They take aim at "the waste of resources from price competition, environmental problems and low technological levels," Xiao told a press briefing. China could learn lessons from Japanese companies that turn out high-value-added products, he said.

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