China opposes Canada’s divestment order on lithium mining

China’s Ministry of Commerce on Sunday said the government will take the necessary steps to safeguard the rights and interests of its companies after Canada last week ordered three Chinese companies to divest their investments in Canadian critical minerals, citing national security. It firmly opposes Canada’s divestment order on Chinese companies as Ottawa is using national security as a pretext.

On Wednesday, Canada ordered three Chinese companies – Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co Ltd, Chengze Lithium International Ltd, also based in Hong Kong, and Zangge Mining Investment (Chengdu) Co Ltd. – to divest their investments in three of Canadian lithium mining companies, citing national security.

Both China and Canada are important suppliers in global mining production chains, and the Canadian side has overstretched the concept of national security and placed arbitrary curbs on normal trade and investment cooperation between Chinese and Canadian companies, the ministry said in a statement.

This is against the principle of market economy and international economic and trading rules, and China strongly opposes such a decision, it said.

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