Cutting trade ties with China simply a pipe dream pushed by Washington
China Daily

The White House is seen in Washington, DC, US on Aug 7, 2022. (Photo: Agencies)

Australian Resources Minister Madeleine King hit the nail on the head in an interview on Tuesday when she described the hope of some Western countries that they could soon end their reliance on China for rare earths as a "pipe dream".

This is because China holds the world's largest reserves of the mineral resources and accounts for around 80 percent of global production of rare earths, which are needed for a wide variety of products, ranging from smartphones to aerospace technology to wind turbines.

Yet rather than calling for joint international efforts to ensure the safety and stability of the industry and supply chains for the good of all countries, King insinuated that Australia and the United States should cooperate to boost investments in the minerals in order to break China's monopoly, as it is a country "that has seen this need coming and made the most of it".

But despite being the world's largest trading and manufacturing country, China has never and will not seek to weaponize trade or its dominant position in certain fields such as rare earths' production. Rather, it continues to advocate and uphold free trade and economic globalization as a means to counter protectionism and the "decoupling" trend initiated by Washington that hurts the interests of all nations.

King's remarks highlight the dilemma that Australia finds itself in when it comes to its economic and trade ties with China. On the one hand, China has long been Australia's biggest trading partner for both the export and import of goods. On the other hand, Canberra is willingly playing the role of Washington's vanguard in the Asia-Pacific in its strategy to contain China, which means it has to toe the US line even at the expense of its own interests.

In the latest move, the US is reportedly preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in northern Australia to send "a strong message to adversaries". Australia had earlier joined the US in banning Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei citing national security concerns, and has had running spats with China on such issues as human rights and the South China Sea after Washington began hyping up its groundless allegations of human rights abuses and coercive behavior on the part of China.

China is doing its best to play its part in keeping the world economy and international trade stable. Other countries likewise need to shoulder their due responsibilities to ensure the normal functioning of relevant trade and economic cooperation, rather than trying to use the economy and trade as political tools or weapons, which only destabilizes the global economic system to the detriment of all.