China ups critical minerals heat with graphite controls – by Andy Home (Reuters – October 24, 2023)

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – China is upping the critical minerals stakes by curbing exports of graphite, a key raw material in electric vehicle batteries. The West can’t say it wasn’t warned.

When China announced restrictions on exports of gallium and germanium in July, former Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo was quoted in the China Daily as saying it was “just the start” if the West continued to target China’s high-technology sector.

Restricting the flow of two metals used in the manufacture of silicon chips was “a well-thought-out heavy punch” in reaction to the U.S. Chips Act, Wei said. The Biden administration has since tightened restrictions on the flow of advanced artificial intelligence chips to China, announcing on Friday a new raft of measures aimed at closing previous loopholes.

China is responding in kind, this time taking aim at the West’s electric vehicle (EV) ambitions. There is much potential for further escalation in this unfolding critical minerals battle between China and the West.

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