China’s metals and mining investments overseas are on track to hit a record this year, new data shows, as the country races to secure resources to defend its position as the world’s biggest producer of electric vehicles, batteries, solar panels and wind turbines, reports the Financial Times. In the first half of this year, Chinese investments and new contracts in the mining and metals sector topped $10 billion, according to a report from the Green Finance & Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai reviewed by the Financial Times. That figure is more than the 2022 full-year total, and puts this year’s investments on track to exceed the previous record of $17 billion in 2018.
China’s investment in the sector includes nickel, lithium and copper projects as well as uranium, steel and iron, highlighting intensifying efforts by Chinese companies across the clean technology supply chain to lock up access to resources amid forecasts of booming long-term demand as the world fights climate change.
The investments, which have spanned countries in Africa, Asia and South America, also reflect leader Xi Jinping’s ambitions of economic self-reliance as he seeks to fortify China against the impact of rising geopolitical tensions with the US.