12 Jan '11, 6am

China defends rare earths policy ahead of Hu's US visit

BEIJING: China on Wednesday defended its controls over lucrative rare earth metals ahead of a visit to the United States next week by President Hu Jintao, amid concern Beijing is abusing its market dominance. Hu will visit Washington for talks with US President Barack Obama and make a stop in Chicago during the January 18-21 trip, vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai told reporters. The visit is seen as a crucial one for Sino-US relations, after a number of disputes over the past year on a range of topics from the yuan to climate change to rare earths, which are used to make high-tech products. "I don't think this is an issue between China and the United States, neither do I think this should become an issue," Cui said on the question of rare earths -- 17 elements vital to everything from iPods to wind turbines. "China accounts for one-third of the world's total reserves, but...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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