China’s Intelligence Agency Links Critical Minerals With National Security

by | 1. Dec 2023 - 09:47 | Politics

Agency vows to protect supply chains against foreign meddling and protect Chinese overseas projects.

Amid growing demand for critical minerals worldwide, the Chinese Ministry of State Security vowed to protect Beijing’s supply chains, linking a steady stream of critical minerals with national security in a social media post, the South China Morning Post reports. The Ministry argues that the sphere of critical minerals has become a new battleground between global superpowers and ushered in a new age of resource nationalism. Likely a wink to the recent trade dispute with the United States surrounding the export ban on advanced semiconductors, which has been met with export restrictions on technology metals gallium and germanium and the battery mineral graphite by the People’s Republic. The social media post by the Ministry now extends this beyond exports to Chinese critical mineral projects overseas, which the agency vows to protect, according to Hong Kong-based BNN Breaking.

The statement cements China’s recent efforts to control global supply chains of critical minerals further. The Middle Kingdom dominates the production of numerous critical minerals and refined products. For example, over 60 percent of the global rare earths production stems from China. In refined rare earth products such as magnets, it is even as much as over 90 percent (PDF).

China has not displayed intentions to extend export restrictions on rare earths, but the government has announced to demand additional information on their export. However, further Chinese efforts to control critical minerals could give worldwide demands for diversifying supply chains a tailwind. One example of where these calls are already visible is the U.S., where a bipartisan group of Senators addressed China’s sector dominance in a letter to the Biden administration, urging the government to act.

Photo: iStock/SeventyFour

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