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.

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

  • It’s time to move on– Speaker
    It’s time to move on– Speaker

    The nation can now move on as President Aquino has satisfactorily explained his side on the Mamasapano incident for which he even begged for understanding, lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday. “It’s time to move on,” Belmonte said in reaction to Aquino’s pronouncements made before new police graduates at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) last Thursday. The President has spoken far too much about what he knows and about his limited involvement in the …

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options