During a hearing on Monday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to finalize its portion of a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, GOP members urged Democrats to support an amendment that would impose sanctions on China for rare earth minerals. would eliminate dependence and in particular for the new source of China. These minerals, Afghan Taliban.
“Mr. President, ending America’s dependence on the Chinese and the Taliban for minerals is a bipartisan issue that we should all be able to support,” said Representative David McKinley (RW.Va.). “China previously threatened to cut off its supply of rare earth elements to the United States in 2019, and Congress must, at no time, allow the United States to become vulnerable again.”
“Mr. President, in 2010 the Defense Department identified $1 trillion worth of undeveloped mineral deposits in Afghanistan. It is now estimated to be worth $3 trillion and the Department of Defense refers to the country as the Saudi Arabia of Lithium, And lithium is a key component in batteries for electric vehicles, grid storage, solar-powered wind turbines and other energy technologies,” McKinley said.
“But you know, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan last month left that country under Taliban control, as well as its mineral reserves. And just hours after it came under Taliban control, China said they We are ready for ‘friendly cooperation with Afghanistan,'” McKinley said.
The New York Times interviewed General David H. Petraeus in 2010. At the time, the commander of the US military in Afghanistan referred to a US Department of Defense “internal Pentagon memorandum” regarding the vast mineral deposits there.
Zhou Bo, a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army from 2003 to 2020, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times in August that the Chinese Communist Party could give Kabul what it needed most, “… political fairness and Economic investment,” adding, “Afghanistan, in turn, rewards China the most: opportunities in infrastructure and industry creation — sectors in which China’s capabilities are unmatched — and access to $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits.”
Furthermore, Johnny Moore, former commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told The Epoch Times in a recent interview that there are three reasons why China is interested in Afghanistan, “First, the Chinese rule in Afghanistan. wants to tap. Rare earths and other minerals, which are estimated to be worth up to $3 trillion. “
Rare earths are 17 elements on the periodic table that are important in many industries, including consumer electronics, defense and green technologies. Currently, China controls about 80 percent of the global rare earth supply and has previously cut its exports as a retaliation against other countries.
However, Democrats voted against the amendment, with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) urging members to oppose the amendment proposed by McKinley – calling it a distraction.
“This administration has taken decisive action to stop the import of goods whose components were produced under forced labour. This important decision sends a clear signal that the United States, I repeat, does not tolerate harmful labor practices abroad,” Rochester said. “But this amendment is nothing more than a distraction from what we are trying to do here today, make important long-overdue investments in tackling the climate crisis.”
The committee’s ranking member, Rep. Kathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash), said the Democrats’ race for all-green energy would undermine our energy independence and strengthen our opponents.
“In many ways this rush for Green is a rush to trade energy independence for our energy security, the energy security that we ultimately achieved — a reliance on China and other adversaries in 2020,” Rodgers said. “A vote for this amendment is a vote for American supply chains and against the Taliban and Chinese prospering on the back of hardworking American families.”
Frank Fang contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times