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Chinese Critical Mineral Investment Has Exploded Since Biden Signed Landmark Climate Bill

A recent analysis published by Australia's Griffith University shows that since President Joe Biden signed the climate bill into law in 2022, China has seen significant investment in key minerals, which are essential for sourcing green energy products. is increasing.

Under the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese companies will significantly ramp up investment in mining minerals such as lithium, copper and nickel in 2023. necessary For manufacturing products such as lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) according to Go to the Griffith Asia Institute report. Total BRI mining investment last year increased by 158% compared to 2022, and the Griffith Asia Institute predicts further increases in BRI investment targeting green energy, mining and related activities until the end of 2024.

BRI is Chinese Communist Party-sponsored programs It aims to create a large network of infrastructure projects and developments spread across the world. according to to the Council on Foreign Relations. Critics argue that Belt and Road investments and construction contracts double as a mechanism for China to set debt traps in developing countries, potentially giving the Chinese Communist Party greater influence over developing country governments. It is claimed that there is. (Related article: Biden's Green Envoy John Kerry praises China's climate change progress despite Beijing's coal boom)

Biden signed inflation control law (IRA) Enacted into law in August 2022, hopeful The legislation allocates $369 billion in green energy subsidies to help make the U.S. economy cleaner, while also helping revive U.S. manufacturing by mass producing products like solar panels and EVs. I argued that it would be. Many of the bill's critics argue that because China has a monopoly over the supply chain for the raw materials needed to make these products, Chinese companies will be able to reap the value of taxpayer-funded green energy subsidies and benefit from the bill. It was pointed out that there is a possibility of receiving.

In the first full year after Biden signed the bill, Chinese companies invested more than $19 billion in mining-related projects, including about $15 billion in nickel, lithium and copper projects, according to the Griffith Asia Institute. , reportedly poured into aluminum mining. In his 2021, the last full year before the IRA became law, his total BRI investments in the mining industry did not exceed his $10 billion.

Numerous reports have been published showing that Chinese companies seek to profit from IRA provisions that are said to be designed primarily to benefit American companies. To access the IRA loophole, Chinese companies are setting up bases in places like Morocco, a U.S. ally, to gain access to U.S. subsidies. do not have Other Chinese companies are using joint ventures and subsidiaries to set up shop in the U.S. and seek to profit from it.

U.S. companies are also making many large investments in green energy initiatives, with the help of the IRA's powerful subsidies. The private sector has poured more than $360 billion into green energy investments since Biden took office. according to To the White House.

“That's not the case. Honestly, we're not going to hurt China,” Biden said in a speech on September 10, 2023. speech Vietnam. “The more China does well, the better China does according to international rules, the better off we all are. It grows the economy…We are not looking at decoupling from China.”

Nevertheless, there is some concern within the administration about China's green energy products. Beyond concerns over the long-standing alleged links between Uighur Muslim slave labor and China's green supply chain, the administration on Thursday announced that it has identified certain types of labor it believes pose potential national security and intelligence risks. announced that it is investigating Chinese-made EVs.

“China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including through the use of unfair practices,” Biden said in an interview Thursday. statement. “China's policies could flood our market with Chinese vehicles, posing a risk to our national security. We will not allow that to happen on my watch.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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