China’s Export Controls on Critical Minerals

December 12, 2023

On August 1, 2023, China began restricting exports of gallium and germanium, followed more recently, on December 1, with new export controls on high-grade graphite. China has justified these measures on the grounds of national security; however, gallium and germanium have broad applications in a range of industries, including electronics and fiber optics, while graphite anodes are an essential component of the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. This article explores developments surrounding the announcement of restrictions, as well as the role of gallium, germanium and graphite in U.S. supply chains, and potential implications of China’s export restrictions.