China to review its policy of restricting exports of rare earth to reflect the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported on Wednesday, said the official media. A WTO panel ruled yesterday that restrictions on the export of certain raw materials used by China were contrary to international trade law.
The European Commission welcomed the decision, saying it could press China to abandon its export restrictions on rare earth. China produces 97% of rare earth in the world, vital for the sectors of high technology. Beijing has cut export quotas by 35% in the first half, in addition to previous limitations.
The Chinese government will study and take positive steps in the export of rare earth “according to relevant laws and rules of the WTO”, said Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, quoted by Xinhua news. He stressed that the “rare earths are non-renewable sources and resources of strategic importance” and the “adjustment” of the export policy would take into account production and consumption within the country.