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China Has Rare Earths Plan Ready to Go If Trade War Deepens

  • Measures would focus on heavy rare earths given U.S. reliance
  • Applications widespread across electronics, medicine, military
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China Is Ready to Weaponize Rare Earths
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Beijing has readied a plan to restrict exports of rare earths to the U.S. if needed, as both sides in the trade war dig in for a protracted dispute, according to people familiar with the matter.

The government has prepared the steps it will take to use its stranglehold on the critical minerals in a targeted way to hurt the U.S. economy, the people said. The measures would likely focus on heavy rare earths, a sub-group of the materials where the U.S. is particularly reliant on China. The plan can be implemented as soon as the government decides to go ahead, they said, without giving further details.