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White paper on rare earth industry issued

Updated: 2012-06-20 13:15
( Xinhua)

 White paper on rare earth industry issued

Rare earth to be exported are seen at a port in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu province in this Sept 5, 2009 file photo. [Photo/Asianewsphoto]


BEIJING - China on Wednesday issued a white paper on its rare earth industry, the first of its kind in the country, as the world's largest rare earth producer strives to better protect the valuable resources.

The white paper, titled "Situation and Policies of China's Rare Earth Industry," was released by the Information Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet.

China will continue to follow WTO rules, strengthen the industry's management and supply rare earth products to the global market, the white paper said.

The white paper said its publication was aimed at giving the international community a better understanding of China's rare earth industry and policies.

As the world's largest rare earth producer, China supplies more than 90 percent of the world's demand for rare earth metals, although its reserves account for just 23 percent of the world's total.

Rare earth metals, a group of 17 metals, are vital for the manufacture of high-tech products ranging from smart phones and wind turbines to electric car batteries.

Mining the metals is extremely damaging to the environment. To control environmental damage and protect the non-renewable resources, China has implemented multiple policies, including production caps, export quotas, stricter emission standards and higher resource taxes.

However, these policies have sparked complaints from major consumers such as Japan, which purchased 56 percent of China's rare earth exports in 2011.

China's intensified regulations are intended to protect the environment, preserve valuable resources and promote the sustainable development of the sector, Gao Yunhu, an official with Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a Wednesday press conference.

China will continue to supply the global market with rare earth metals while maintaining regulatory policies that fall in line with WTO rules, according to Su Bo, Vice-Minister of Industry and Information Technology.

"China hopes other countries will actively develop their domestic earth earth resources, as well as expand and diversify supplies for the international market," Su said.