China will continue to be a “reliable supplier” of so called “rare earth” minerals, which are key to the global high-tech industry. (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk)
Recently, the country suspended export of the metals to Japan following a diplomatic spat last month over islands whose ownership is disputed.
Though China has pledged not the use the minerals as a diplomatic weapon, the country has been pressed by the US to defuse the row.
Informal talks were held on the fringes of an Asean conference in Vietnam by representatives from China and Japan.
“We have made very clear to both sides that we want the temperature to go down,” a US official said, following a meeting between Hillary Clinton and her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in Hanoi.
97% of these valuable commodities are produced in China, before being used to produce electronic items such as mobile phones.
Chinese export restrictions were a “wake-up call” for the world to seek additional sources of rare earths, Clinton said earlier, in Hawaii.