China Uses War Words; Tells USA "Don't Say We Didn't Warn You"

China Uses War Words; Tells USA "Don't Say We Didn't Warn You"
3 Comments

The biggest Chinese newspaper explicitly warned the U.S. on Wednesday that China would cut off rare earth minerals as a countermeasure in the escalated trade battle, using a history-laden expression the publication has used ahead of full-on wars.

“We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” the People’s Daily said in a commentary titled “United States, don’t underestimate China’s ability to strike back.” The publication is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. 

The phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” has been used before by the People’s Daily . . . in 1962 before China’s border war with India and ahead of the 1979 China-Vietnam War.

 “Will rare earths become a counter weapon for China to hit back against the pressure the United States has put on for no reason at all? The answer is no mystery,” the paper said.

The trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies escalated quickly this month with both sides slapping tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods. China’s threat to restrict rare earth mineral sales to the U.S. came after President Donald Trump blacklisted Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which led to many chipmakers and internet companies cutting ties with the company.

The speculation about China’s payback first surfaced when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited rare earth mining and processing facilities in Jiangxi province during a domestic tour last week. A Chinese official warned Tuesday that products made from the materials should not be used against China’s development, which was seen as a veiled threat aimed at the U.S. and its technology industry.

China’s rare earth materials are crucial to the production of iPhones, electric vehicles and advanced precision weapons, although the imports were a relatively small part of the $420 billion U.S. goods deficit with China in 2018.

The Chinese tabloid Global Times also said Tuesday that China can play the “rare earths card” and that it’s “seriously considering” the move.

The stock market took a big hit amid the tit-for-tat strategies between the U.S. and China, with stocks poised to post their first negative month of the year. The S&P 500 has lost nearly 6% this month.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Reginald Fischer · 6 months ago
    Don't we get rare earth metals from Afghanistan? I thought that was why the US is still there, notwithstanding the heroin.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Gifford Rodine · 6 months ago
      Afghanistan has rare earth mineral deposits. But we do not need them. It is like when we went to the the middle east for "development of their 'cheap oil'" How did that work out? "cheap" will make a fool out of us. We have the lowest cost gold mines in the world in my opinion. Our mining engineers are VERY good.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gifford Rodine · 6 months ago
    We have a large mine of rare earth minerals in California. Australia has large deposits of rare earth minerals. Some of these are shipped to china for refining because in the USA the EPA and
    California put restrictions (well above chinese standards) on the operations. In Australia's case, are you going to mine and refine gold at $1200 per ounce refined or rare earths for $50 to $400 dollars a POUND refined. President Trump will have declare a national emergency to mine and refine these rare earth metals in the USA. It can be done. Other western countries should do the same. Then tell china to stick it where the sun does not shine. Now send Hal some money, yes now!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    · 6 months ago
    Note that apparently Afghanistan has a boatload of rare earths. I've read the estimates are in the $1-3 Trillion range. However, it is not easy to mine due to the terrain there, among other issues. Thus, we don't know for sure if anything has been done to extract these minerals at this time. A cloak of secrecy may be involved. Of course, we could probably buy from Australia or even China by way of Mexico, etc.

    On an additional note, please subscribe or donate to Hal. We do both. The info we receive here is excellent and timely. DO IT! Doing nothing means nothing gets done.