Tuesday, 22 November 2011
China "throws" rare earths monopoly
Some non-Chinese rare earths producers look attractive. China damaged its own reputation as the global virtual monopoly supplier of critical rare earths in 2010 by withholding rare earth supplies to Japan in an attempt to amplify "fishing boat intrusion diplomacy" pressure upon Japan at the Senkaku Islands, in their projection of Chinese political power, not only over the South China Sea, but also over the East China Sea to test Western responses. By casting doubt upon their own Chinese reliability of supply, naturally Japanese and other western market electronics manufacturers have been prompted to diversify their field of rare earth suppliers away from the long serving Chinese monopoly.
Clearly, the Chinese Central Communist Party Committee holds projection of power eastward beyond Taiwan and the Japanese island chain to be more important to their national strategic interests than maintaining their Chinese monopoly dominance of the critical global rare earths market. This is significant.
I acknowledge the article below, which I think is interesting particularly from the viewpoint of those interested in the rare earth metals market and suppliers: Proposed German industrial alliance aims to secure critical metals supply. Disclosure: the author holds stock in a rare earths producer.
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Posted by Nils Marchant