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China's hunt for strategic new energy minerals

Geopolitics, supply chain restructuring, receding globalization create roadblocks

A lithium company worker at Argentina's Salta salt flats in August 2021.

Chinese companies are scouting the world for mining assets as the country's booming new energy vehicle industry boosts demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel -- key metals used in batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.

However, receding globalization, rising geopolitical conflicts and supply chain restructuring are throwing up roadblocks for Chinese firms seeking to invest in overseas mining projects. "Walking on two legs" -- at home and abroad -- has become inevitable.

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