China plans to step up its exploitation of strategic mineral resources, the country’s top economic planner announced on Thursday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the policy – part of the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan – would involve deeper exploration for rare earths, copper, chromium and tungsten, as well as petroleum and natural gas.
Agencies would pursue “high-quality development” in resource-rich regions, the planner said.
The NDRC said the country’s use of non-renewable resources would be “phased”, so China could “adjust and optimise its economic structure”.
The resources industry would be a “unified, open, competitive, and orderly system”, the agency added, calling for a “complete and well-governed, high-standard market”.
However, the NDRC said the government would have a strengthened guiding role and [would] “continue to optimise the business environment and actively create a good policy environment,” the statement said.
“By 2025, the ability to ensure resource and energy security in resource-rich regions will be greatly improved.”
The NDRC said China would enhance its scientific and technological innovation and draw on talent from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area regions to boost capabilities.
• George Russell