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USA. The government expressed strong opposition to Beijing’s decision to limit exports of gallium and germanium

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The U.S. Department of Commerce expressed strong opposition to China’s decision to limit exports of gallium and germanium, metals crucial to high-tech industries, on Thursday, the day that US Finance Minister Janet Yellen arrived in Beijing.

– We are strongly against export controls (…). United States in cooperation with allies and partners, they will make efforts to protect key supply chains, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said, referring to Beijing’s decision to limit the sale of gallium and germanium.

New restrictions

China’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday that it had imposed controls on the export of these metals, citing the need to “protect national security and the interests of China“.

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The Kyodo agency emphasizes that on Thursday, Janet Yellen began a four-day visit to China, which is to meet with high-ranking Chinese politicians and seek to improve relations with Beijing.

Also on Thursday Pentagon reported that he had a stockpile of germanium, but no large stocks of gallium. However, the ministry “will take steps (…) to increase the domestic mining and processing of critical metals (…), including gallium and germanium,” a spokesman for the defense ministry said.

Chip trade war

Export controls in China will cover eight compounds of gallium and six of germanium. They have many specialized applications in the production of semiconductors, telecommunications and military equipment or electric cars. Germanium is also a key material in the production of solar panels, fiber optics and infrared technology. China is the largest producer of both metals.

In October 2022, the administration of the president Joe Biden has already imposed restrictions on the sale of certain advanced computer chips to China, which could be used by China for military purposes and the development of artificial intelligence.

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