13:38 GMT +316 June 2019
Listen Live
    Miners are seen at the Bayan Obo mine containing rare earth minerals, in Inner Mongolia, China July 16, 2011

    Pentagon Working on Reducing US Reliance on Chinese Rare Earth Minerals

    © REUTERS / Stringer
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    12415

    The Pentagon presented a report to Congress on rare earth minerals in an effort to reduce reliance on China after a series of statements from Chinese officials which were viewed as a veiled threat.

    The move came after the People’s Daily, China’s largest newspaper, explicitly warned the US on Wednesday that China would cut off its rare earth supply, saying “don’t say we didn’t warn you,” a phrase it has only used twice in history, both of which involved full-on wars: in 1962 before China’s border war with India and ahead of the 1979 China-Vietnam War.

    “The department continues to work closely with the president, Congress and the industrial base to mitigate US reliance on China for rare earth minerals,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a spokesman for the US Defence Department, told Reuters Wednesday.

    Andrews said that the department had recently submitted a Defence Production Act III rare earth mineral report to Congress, demonstrating the department’s continued focus on reducing its reliance on China.

    Rare earths represent a critical component for the manufacturing and development of high-tech products such as smartphones and electric vehicles. According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, cited by the Business Insider, China is the leading supplier of rare earths and accounts for 78% of global production, while owning 40% of global resources of rare earths.

    READ MORE:  China Might Use Rare Earth Minerals as Trump Card in Trade War — Reports

    Bank of America strategists noted that the dominance of China is due to the fact that its government has classified rare earths as a strategic resource and has emphasized exploration and extraction of the raw materials for about 100 years.

    Related:

    China Might Use Rare Earth Minerals as Trump Card in Trade War - Reports
    Beijing Could Use Rare Earth Metal Exports as Pressure Point in US Trade War
    NASA Craft Explores Rare Asteroid That Might Be on Killer Course Toward Earth
    Rare Earths Market Could Become Next Victim of US-China Trade War - Scholar
    Japanese Find of Rare Earths on Sea Floor Unlikely to Break 'Chinese Monopoly'
    Tags:
    rare-erath materials, US-China trade war, rare-earth metals, China, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik