Risks to Supply-chain Resilience: China’s Position in the Electric Vehicle Market

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Risks to Supply-chain Resilience: China’s Position in the Electric Vehicle Market

2nd November 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

As Britain pursues net zero and the decarbonisation of road transport, electric vehicles are currently set to play a major role in the UK’s future economy. This in turn means a major role for China in supplying those vehicles. As things stand, Beijing controls 80% of global refinement capacity for the raw minerals used in battery manufacturing and produces 73% of the world’s electric vehicle battery cells.

The Government’s new Critical Minerals Strategy recognises this as a potential geopolitical threat. Beijing has already demonstrated its willingness to use control of mineral supplies and other sources of economic pressure to attempt to cow other states. Its dominant position in the electric vehicle supply chain, coupled with the speed of transition to a net zero economy, could provide it with significant leverage in the coming decades.

Options for limiting China’s leverage in the medium term do exist, ranging from investing in commercial and political ties with countries extracting resources, developing refining capacity domestically and in friendly states, and using other low-carbon fuel sources during the initial transition.

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event discussing how the West can short-circuit China’s dominance in electric vehicles. 



Sam Ashworth-Hayes is a policy researcher and Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. He has previously worked as an economic consultant and journalist.



Catherine West is the Labour MP for Hornsey & Wood Green and Shadow Foreign Minister (Asia and the Pacific). She was born in Australia and moved to London in 1998. Before being elected as an MP in 2015, Catherine was leader of Islington Council.

Catherine has taken on a number of roles in Parliament including Shadow Foreign Minister from October 2015 – June 2017 with responsibility for the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Oceania and the Overseas Territories and Shadow Sports Minister from January-April 2020.  Catherine has also previously served as a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on International Trade, the joint Committee on Arms Export Controls (September 2017 – March 2019) and member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (March-November 2019). In April 2020, Catherine was appointed to Labour’s front bench as Shadow Foreign Minister (Europe & Americas) and in December 2021 she moved within the Shadow Foreign Office Team to cover Asia and the Pacific.
Catherine is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Deputy-Chair of the APPG on China and a Patron of Hong Kong Watch.  In 2017 she established the first All-Party Parliamentary Group on Swimming, which she continues to Chair.

Catherine was a strong supporter of the campaign to remain in the EU and voted against triggering Article 50.



Jamie Nimmo is the associate business editor at The Sunday Times and covers mining and natural resources. He has written extensively on China, its growing influence in British business, and its stranglehold on the world’s rare earth minerals. Prior to joining The Sunday Times, Jamie worked at The Mail on Sunday and The Evening Standard.



The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith is a British Conservative Party politician. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2010 to 2016, he was previously the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2001 to 2003. He has led calls for a re-think on the UK’s relationship towards China in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and co-chairs the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

Iain was elected Member of Parliament for Chingford in 1992, and he was re-elected in 1997 as Member of Parliament for the re-drawn constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green. Iain was promoted to William Hague’s Shadow Cabinet in 1997. As Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security, Iain exposed Labour’s hypocrisy and failure on welfare reform. When he was promoted to Shadow Defence Secretary, he exposed the Government’s failure to give British forces sufficient funding and equipment.

In 2001, Iain was elected Leader of the Conservative Party. After stepping down in 2003, he set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent think tank committed to tackling poverty and social breakdown. Iain served as Chairman of the CSJ until the 2010 General Election, when he was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He served in this position until March 2016 before taking up the position of Chairman once again at the CSJ.






The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to launch a report by Sam Ashworth-Hayes into the dependency on China to produce electric vehicles. The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith began the discussion by introducing the speakers and outlining the growing threat of China and our reliance on the nation for technology due to China owning approximately 85% of all rare earth minerals necessary for their production. Sam Ashworth-Hayes then outlined the Government’s current policy on reducing dependence in the long-term and suggested further solutions focused on the short-term. Jamie Nimmo continued to present solutions to this pressing problem, indicating we cannot rely on state subsidies as China has done and proposing working with overseas partners. Finally, the speakers answered questions on the impact of developments in Indonesia in aiding the UK, why the UK has not done anything sooner, and which industries China is dependent upon.




Committee Room 6, House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA United Kingdom
+ Google Map


Sam Ashworth-Hayes, Catherine West MP, Sir Iain Duncan Smith


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