Chinese companies have heavily invested in lithium and cobalt production for lithium-ion batteries in electric cars.
According to Bloomberg, Chinese companies control at least half of the production of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cobalt is a rare metal. The Democratic Republic of Congo produces 70 per cent of the world's cobalt. Four out of five cobalt refining capacities are located in China.
The Chinese Ganfeng and Tianqi are, in turn, leading lithium producers with 17 and 12 per cent stakes. The mines are in Australia and South America.