China, Japan Minuet Around the Issue of Rare EarthsEN
It’s official – China’s de facto monopoly on current rare earths production is a threat to the global economy.
As least, that was the gist of hearings on 21 September by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Center for a New American Security fellow Christine Parthemore ominously intoned, "Reliable access to critical minerals is a matter of both economic and geostrategic importance to the United States. Today, no minerals are more troubling to U.S. security and foreign policy than rare earth elements. Supplies are concentrated mostly in the hands of one supplier with its own rising demand, and the United States today has no good options for recycling rare earth minerals or substituting more easily obtained minerals. Even more important to the current circumstances, the United States possess rare earth reserves that will be economical to produce, which will be an important means of mitigating the foreign policy challenge surrounding rare earths while creating domestic jobs."
Not that the West should have been blindsided, as in 1992 China’s former Premier, Deng Xiaoping commented, “The Middle East has oil. China has rare earths.”
Full article: China, Japan Minuet Around the Issue of Rare Earths