Premier: China won’t block rare earth exports (AP)

In this undated photo, chunks of chemically processed rare earths are shown in Beijing. China's recent halt of exotic metal shipments to Japan amid a diplomatic spat has reverberated throughout the world's high-tech manufacturing hubs — now on heightened alert to the risks of relying on one country for materials that do everything from helping hybrid engines run to creating the color red in televisions. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) ** JAPAN OUT, FOR COMMERCIAL USE ONLY IN NORTH AMERICA **AP – China is not using its control over supplies of rare earth — exotic metals crucial in advanced manufacturing — as a diplomatic “bargaining chip,” state media quoted Premier Wen Jiabao as saying during a visit to Europe.

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