United States Vs China trade war continues

A trade war between China and the United States over the future of semiconductors is escalating.Beijing hit back Monday by playing a trump card: It imposed export controls on two strategic raw materials, gallium and germanium, that are critical to the global chipmaking industry.

What are these materials?

Gallium is a soft, silvery metal and is easy to cut with a knife. It’s commonly used to produce compounds that are key materials in semiconductors and light-emitting diodes.

Germanium is a hard, grayish-white and brittle metalloid that is used in the production of optical fibers that can transmit light and electronic data.

The export controls have drawn comparisons with China in early 2021 to restrict exports of rare earths, a group of 17 elements for which China controls more than half of the global supply.

Gallium and germanium do not belong to this group of minerals. Like rare earths, they can be expensive to mine or produce.

This is because they are usually formed as a byproduct of mining more common metals, primarily aluminum, zinc and copper, and processed in countries that produce them.

Are there more curbs coming in the near future?

Analysts say Beijing could escalate its response further, if its move to control gallium and germanium fails to persuade the US to back down. Rare earths, which are not difficult to find but are complicated to process, are also critical in making semiconductors, and could be the next target.






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