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Rare earth metals are critical to several modern technologies. It not only produces the majority of rare earth elements, but it has the most rare earth reserves. China has been the primary source of rare earth metals since the 1990s. In order to reduce dependence on China, the U.S. and Japan have made it a priority to diversify their sources of rare earth metals. The sooner that the United States and its allies free themselves from dependence on China, the sooner they will free themselves from the CCP’s ability to hold defense production hostage. Can China hold the world to ransom over access to rare-earth metals? China’s Monopoly on Rare Earth Metals is a Critical National Security Risk. Take lithium, where China is a major processor and battery manufacturer; cobalt, where China has dominated the supply chains; and rare earths, where China has an almost total monopoly. However, the turning point came in 2010 when the world realised that China had a crippling monopoly where it could punish any country by controlling the supply of the rare earth metals. Originally published by The National Interest. China’s monopoly. onwards China established itself as the biggest producer of rare earth metals with by 2010 supplying 97 of world demand (Humphries, 2011, p. 13). The rest of the world, including the US and Japan, have 10.9 per cent of rare earths. The Molycorp Mine in Mountain Pass, Calif., Sept. 10, 2009. As of 2018, China had 44 million tonnes or 36.7 per cent of the world’s rare earth deposits, Brazil has 22 per cent, Vietnam 18 per cent, Russia 10 per cent and India has 5.8 per cent. Breaking China’s Rare Earth Monopoly. Rare earth metals are integral to a lot of modern technology, and China controls the vast majority of the world’s supply. China’s stranglehold on rare-earth minerals – resources essential for … China leveraged its lax environmental laws by way of an indirect ecological subsidy in the rare metal industry. See how rare earth production has changed over time in this chart. March 29, 2021 John Rossomando. China’s Dangerous Monopoly on Metals Control of the rare-earth supply gives Beijing both economic and military advantages over the U.S. Rare-earth metals are used to make just about everything, from smartphones and display panels, to speakers and televisions, and while China currently … Ending China’s chokehold on rare-earth minerals The U.S. and allies can break Beijing’s monopoly on elements vital to electronics and national defense. China’s dominance in rare earths is the result of years of evolving industrial policies since the 1980s, ranging from tax rebates to export restrictions. In the past five years prices have been seen to increase tremendously and during the Senkaku boat collision incident, China imposed a trade embargo for rare earth metals against its opponent Japan. China has a virtual monopoly on the processing of rare earth elements that are needed for high tech (smartphones and laptops), defense equipment, and so-call “green” energy technologies.

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