#CNN: #Trump – #Xi meeting / #TradeWar – #China wants even more control over rare earths


Hong Kong (CNN Business) China is preparing to tighten its grip on the supply of a group of minerals the global tech industry can’t live without.


Chinese state media reported that the government of Jiangxi province was planning to provide support to China Southern Rare Earth Group (CSRE) — the biggest producer of heavy rare earths — “to increase its power and gain the upper hand and say in the resource.”
Jiangxi, where most of China’s heavy rare earths are produced, is considering how to boost the role of state-owned CSRE and encourage “high-quality development,” the state-run Securities Times added.
The report highlights China’s willingness to consolidate the industry and strengthen control of rare earths production, which Beijing sees as a powerful bargaining chip in the trade war. It comes on the eve of a crucial meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting on Saturday is likely to determine what happens next in a trade war that has already damaged global growth and hurt technology companies in particular.
On a visit to Jiangxi province in May, Xi described rare earths as an important strategic resource. Days later, the country’s top economic planner signaled in a statement that Beijing was willing to play the rare earth card in the trade war.

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