Since my last post on rare earth, more people globally have been discussing the subject of this natural resource as an environmental and economic concern, as well as political tool as China reacts to a currency disagreement with the US by reducing shipments.
In an article posted on the BBC website, Olivia Lang of BBC News writes:
In a New York Times op-ed last month, economist Paul Krugman wrote: "On one side, the affair highlights the fecklessness of US policymakers, who did nothing while an unreliable regime acquired a stranglehold on key materials."
"On the other side, the incident shows a Chinese government that is dangerously trigger-happy, willing to wage economic warfare on the slightest provocation," he added.Using the same argument on reliance of rare-earth from China as is used with oil from the Middle East, Professor Animesh Jha from the University of Leeds is quoted in the article as saying:
"It's very dangerous to rely on limited resources from politically unsafe places. I don't think we should be held hostage to China."Rare earth minerals are a collection of elements that are used extensively in the manufacture of products including large wind turbines, flat screen TV's and strategic US weapons. China supplies most of the rare earth minerals to the United States.