China Still Bans Minerals for Japan
The blocked shipments of minerals known as rare earths, despite previous signals that China was lifting the ban, could increase tensions at the meeting of the Group of 20 leading economic powers, now underway in Seoul. And it could place China at odds with Germany, which has been an outspoken critic of the rare earths policy but has recently been an ally of China’s on a separate matter that is a hot topic for the G-20 — the weak United States dollar.
The continuation of China’s unannounced embargo against Japan highlights the delicate balance that Beijing officials are trying to strike as world leaders converge on Seoul. Chinese customs and port officials have been blocking exports of raw rare earths to Japan for seven weeks, despite suggesting in late October that they were about to allow a resumption of shipments.