China is set to phase out its one-off gold and the two-year silver imports in coming weeks, after the country had been buying around $20 billion worth of the precious metals a year.
China’s gold imports, which peaked at $20.6 billion in March, were cut to $7.2 billion from a previous high of $14.4 billion in July.
The reduction in imports was part of a plan to trim its reliance on foreign investment in the global economy.
The move will come as the government faces a backlash over a series of controversial new restrictions on the rights of citizens to travel abroad.
The two-month phaseout of China’s one year gold imports is scheduled to take effect on March 25, according to the state news agency Xinhua.
China began phasing the countrys one-month gold imports out in March following a ban on imports of gold and rare earth metals imposed in March.
China had also phased out its silver imports last year.
The gold imports were cut by around 10 percent from a peak of $18.7 billion in May last year, Xinhua said, adding that the silver imports had been reduced by a further 8 percent.
The price of gold in China dropped after the two years gold imports ended in March because the country has been buying more of it.
The US and the European Union have been pushing Beijing to stop its purchases of the metal, which is used in jewellery, jewelry watches, and jewellery chains.
China has also been tightening the restrictions on foreign visitors and has stepped up its efforts to keep out illegal Chinese imports, particularly those coming from Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
In September, the government imposed a ban that saw China block a series the country made of precious metals, including gold and other metals.
The ban was lifted in November.