Wednesday, October 20, 2010

China curtails shipments of rare earth minerals to the USA, West

The winds of trade war are blowing I am afraid to say. Curtailing rare earth minerals affects the production of "green technologies" and perhaps more importantly weapon systems.

But the fact that China would make such a move, in a time of economic challenge, just shows the degree to which China feels comfortable breaking with its weary partner the USA.

Things are developing very quickly with China, though there still is not much coverage of it.


China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of products as diverse as cellphones, large wind turbines and guided missiles. Any curtailment of Chinese supplies of rare earths is likely to be greeted with alarm in Western capitals, particularly because Western companies are believed to keep much smaller stockpiles of rare earths than Japanese companies.

China experts said on Tuesday that Beijing’s assertive stance on rare earths might also signal the ascendance of economic nationalists, noting that the Central Committee of the Communist Party convened over the weekend.

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Nick Sorrentino is the Editor of The Liberty and Economics Review and CEO of a social media management company.