China axes talk with Japan, S Korea over rare earths: Report

China has cancelled an economic ministers` meeting scheduled with Japan and S Korea due to a row over its restrictions on rare earth exports.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 21:49 PM IST

Hanoi: China has cancelled an economic
ministers` meeting scheduled this week with Japan and South
Korea due to a row over its restrictions on rare earth
exports, a report said on Wednesday.

The three-way meeting was slated for Friday on the
sidelines of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian
Nations summit and a wider 16-nation East Asia Summit (EAS)
Saturday that includes China, Japan`s Kyodo News said.

China cancelled the talks due to the spat over its
export restrictions of rare earth minerals, which are used in
the manufacture of high-tech goods; Kyodo said citing, unnamed
Japanese government sources.

China, which controls more than 95 percent of the
global market for the minerals, has not officially declared an
export ban.

But Japanese industry sources have said China has
halted shipments of rare earth minerals to Japan last month,
amid a simmering diplomatic row over disputed islets in the
East China Sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to raise
the issue if he meets with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao
in Hanoi, in talks which have been mooted but are yet to be
confirmed.

PTI