China to prioritize domestic demand for rare earths: planning official

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A senior official from China’s state planner said the country would give priority to domestic demand for rare earths, but is willing to meet other countries’ reasonable demand of for resources, state media report on Tuesday.

Rising tensions between the United States and China have sparked concerns that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war between the two global economic powers.

When asked whether China would restrict rare-earth exports to the United States as a countermeasure, the official from the National Development and Reform Commission did not give a direct answer, according to the report by the official Xinhua news agency.

Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom; editing by John Stonestreet