China says rare earths practices meet WTO rules

China said Wednesday its regulation of the rare earths industry was in line with global trade rules, as it faces international pressure over its control of the crucial elements.

The United States, European Union (EU), Japan and Canada lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in March, claiming Beijing was unfairly choking off exports of the commodities to benefit domestic industries.

China produces more than 90 percent of the world's rare earths, which are used in high-tech equipment from iPods to missiles, and has set output caps and export quotas on the coveted resources.

Gao Yunhu, vice director of the rare earths office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said its management of the industry was "in full compliance with WTO rules".

"China is willing to cooperate with relevant parties to resolve the issue at an early date," Gao told a news conference at the release of a white paper on rare earth use, protection and trade.

But he added: "China will actively use WTO rules to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the country."

The WTO said the case is now in the consultation phase, the first stage of dispute settlement in which the parties involved try to resolve the issue among themselves before resorting to litigation.

China has previously defended its practices, saying they aim to protect the resources and the environment as part of an effort to promote sustainable development.

The United States and others involved in the WTO case say China's export quotas unfairly restrict overseas sales.

China has so far granted companies the right to export 21,226 tonnes of rare earths this year, although such quotas are not always fully used. The government could also extend the limits.

In 2011, the government granted rare earth export quotas of 30,200 tonnes but only 18,600 tonnes were exported, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Su Bo told the news conference.

According to the just-released policy paper, 56 percent of China's rare earth exports last year went to Japan and 14 percent to the United States. EU member countries accounted for at least 17 percent in 2011.

Su pledged that China would maintain supply to the international market, but Beijing hoped other countries would "share the responsibilities". He added China opposed attempts to "politicise" the issue.

"China opposes politicising the rare earth issue. China has never jockeyed for any economic or political interests," he said.

The country's rare earth industry was worth just over 80 billion yuan ($12.6 billion) last year, Su said.

Another official, director of the ministry's rare earths office Jia Yinsong, said China's rare earth reserves were 18.59 million tonnes in 2009 -- or 23 percent of the world's total -- denying foreign estimates of 36 percent.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Honda Launches the New Generation BeAT Fi
    Honda Launches the New Generation BeAT Fi

    Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI) recently unveiled its latest offering, the New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia. Daiki Mihara, President of Honda Philippines, Inc., is confident of the potentials of the New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series in the local scooter market. “The New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series is a reflection of Honda Philippines’ continued commitment to provide powerful, safe, fun, and worthwhile driving experience to the growing market of …

  • US to China: Stop reclamation now
    US to China: Stop reclamation now

    The United States yesterday called for an “immediate and lasting halt” to reclamation works in disputed waters in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea, saying Beijing’s behavior in the area was “out of step” with international norms. To that end, there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants,” US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a high-level security conference in Singapore. …

  • Pinoys urged to observe Flag Day
    Pinoys urged to observe Flag Day

    Filipinos are urged to commemorate the significance of the national flag as the country commemorates Flag Day from May 28 to June 12, the nation’s Independence Day. The Philippine flag was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated Spanish forces in the Battle at Alapan in Imus, Cavite on May 28, 1898, according to the Official Gazette. “The national flag was yet to be formally announced on the day of that battle. …

  • House urged to probe ‘wash sale’ of treasury notes
    House urged to probe ‘wash sale’ of treasury notes

    Congress should look into what could be the anomalous wash sale of P14.3 billion worth of treasury notes last year by officials of the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said yesterday. In a statement, Zarate said the questionable wash sale, covering 28 transactions, might be a fund-raising effort of the Aquino administration for the 2016 elections. The DBP Employees Union (DBPEU) on Friday filed a graft complaint with the Office of the …

  • Qatar court to rule on case of Pinoys charged with espionage
    Qatar court to rule on case of Pinoys charged with espionage

    Qatar’s Court of Appeals is set to deliver a verdict today on the three Filipinos charged with espionage and economic sabotage. One of the three Filipinos who was employed by state-owned Qatar Petroleum was sentenced to death, while the two others who were working at a military base were meted life sentence. The prosecution said the three Filipinos spied by transferring to Philippine officials military and economic information related to the types of aircraft and tanks to be used by the armed …

  • 16 hurt in Jolo police camp blast
    16 hurt in Jolo police camp blast

    Security forces launched a massive hunt for the bombers that set off Friday night two explosives near a mosque inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Asturias in Jolo, Sulu, injuring 11 police officers and five civilians, including three children. The attack appears to have been well-planned as attackers first lobbed a grenade and waited for responding policemen to arrive before setting off a bigger improvised explosive device (IED). Four of the victims are still in grade school, …

  • POEA seeks close monitoring of Saudi’s situation
    POEA seeks close monitoring of Saudi’s situation

    The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has instructed all recruitment agencies sending Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia to closely monitor the situation in the country because of the escalating hostilities in adjacent Yemen. The POEA issued an advisory instructing recruiters to keep a close watch on the Saudi provinces of Najran, Jizan and Asir, which are situated on the Saudi-Yemen border. The POEA also directed the recruitment agencies to submit a list of all the workers …

  • Army to provide treatment for corporal behind bus hostage incident
    Army to provide treatment for corporal behind bus hostage incident

    The Philippine Army promised mental health treatment for an Army corporal who took at least 20 bus passengers hostage in Camarines Sur on Friday, even as police filed a complaint for slight illegal detention before the Prosecutor’s Office. “If proven that he is mentally unstable, we will not abandon him. Rene Prajele showed signs of being mentally disturbed while in detention at the Del Gallego police station in Camarines Sur, adding that the officers who interviewed him could not get a clear …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options