VI. Promoting Fair Trade and International Cooperation
Opening up is a basic national policy of China. In the field of rare earths, China gives simultaneous consideration to both domestic and international resources and markets, and follows a win-win strategy that both ensures a reasonable supply of rare earth products on the international market and helps protect the environment and resources. China will continue its efforts in promoting fair trade and international exchanges and cooperation in this field.
In view of the needs of protecting the environment and resources and developing in a sustainable way, and after giving overall considerations to the domestic and international markets, the carrying capacity of resources and environment, as well as domestic production conditions, China strictly controls the total volumes of rare earth mining and production, and takes restrictive measures on the mining, production, consumption and export of rare earth products simultaneously. The state sets a reasonable quota for annual rare earth exports that basically satisfies the normal demand of the international market. Meanwhile, China tightens customs control, regulates the management of declarations to be filed by enterprises, and orders rare earth export enterprises to comply with the industrial policies, industry access and environmental standards. The state is reinforcing its supervision and control over export enterprises and the self-discipline of the industry. In accordance with the law, it investigates and punishes enterprises that export rare earth products clandestinely, export products procured from illegal channels or commit other acts disrupting the normal order of rare earth export. In 2011, the state carried out a special campaign to crack down on rare earth smuggling, during which it tracked down 769 tonnes of smuggled rare earth products and 23 criminal suspects in eight cases. Meanwhile, the state strictly bans the import of rare earth products containing radioactive substances that exceed the prescribed limits.
(Chart 4 Market of China' s Rare Earth Export in 2011)
|The graphics shows market of China's rare earth export in 2011, according to China's first white paper on the rare earth industry published by China's Information Office of the State Council on June 20, 2012. (Xinhua/China's Information Office of the State Council)
Regarding rare earth trade, the Chinese government has reiterated on more than one occasion that China will continue its rare earth supply to the international market. The tightened control over rare earth export by the Chinese government is carried out in concert with that over the mining, production and other links of the rare earth industry. This is in alignment with China's sustainable development and the interests of all countries in the world. China opposes politicizing the rare earth issue, and is willing to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with other rare earth producers and consumers in a constructive and responsible manner, to work together with them in preventing excessive speculation in the rare earth market and solving the resource and environmental problems in the development of the industry. It also hopes that countries and regions with abundant rare earth reserves will make active efforts in developing their own resources to diversify the supply and expand rare earth trade in the international market, shouldering together the responsibility of global rare earth supply in order to meet the needs of the sustainable development of the world economy.X In recent years, China has been actively creating a fair and open environment for foreign investment, encouraging foreign investment in environment restoration, waste product recycling, and high-end application development and equipment manufacturing in the rare earth industry. Enterprises from the United States, Germany, France, Canada and Japan have invested a total of 6.1 billion yuan in China's rare earth industry, establishing 38 sole-proprietorship and joint-venture enterprises. Their products are mainly made for export to meet the needs of the mother countries of these investors. China encourages domestic enterprises to follow international practice and market rules to participate actively in international technological and economic cooperation in the field of rare earths.
China has actively participated in international exchanges in the field of rare earths. It has consecutively established the International Conference on Rare Earth Development and Application, International Rare Earth Industry Summit, Baotou Rare Earth Industry Forum, and other platforms for academic exchanges. China has taken an active part in activities held by the International Workshop on Rare Earth Permanent Magnets, International Commission on Illumination and other related international organizations. It has conducted bilateral and multilateral exchanges and dialogues on a broad range of issues concerning rare earths with the US, the EU, Russia and Japan, to share information, enhance mutual understanding, and work hand in hand to promote the sustainable development of rare earth science and technology and the rare earth industry as a whole.
The sustained, healthy development of the rare earth industry is crucial to the sustainable use of rare earth reserves as important natural resources of the world, as well as to the protection of Planet Earth, which is home to all mankind. Nowadays, as all countries depend on each other for existence and prosperity, they should strengthen cooperation and share responsibilities and achievements. In future, China will adhere to the Scientific Outlook on Development, improve its rare earth policies, reinforce supervision over the industry, and work closely with the international community to safeguard a fair and rational order of the rare earth market, better coordinate rare earth development and utilization with the protection of the environment and resources, and make new contributions to the world's economic growth and scientific and technological development.