The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced plans to expand the mining and development of strategic mineral resources. As Asia Financial writes, citing an announcement by the agency, the plan is to intensify exploration of rare earths, copper, chromium and tungsten, as well as oil and natural gas.
China imports large quantities of rare earths from other countries for subsequent processing. For example, from Myanmar, where political uncertainties following the military government’s takeover and the Corona pandemic have highlighted the vulnerability of existing supply chains.
Recently, moreover, tight coal supplies have led to energy problems in industries heavily dependent on fossil fuels. China’s interest in tapping new sources of raw materials is likely to be correspondingly high.