Friday, September 24, 2010
Back in January, I wrote about China's dominance of rare earth mining, and the potential dangers of such concentration for world supply of these vital materials, which are essential for many advanced technologies.
Lo and behold, China's just cut off the export of rare earth minerals to Japan (which consumes 50% of the supply) over a diplomatic spat concerning a Chinese trawler arrested for fishing in Japanese waters.
What's the bet China won't do the same to the USA if our policies irritate her politicians? For that matter, she holds a vast amount of US debt in the form of Treasury bonds. If our politicians screw up our economy any further, so that those bonds decrease in value, what if she decides to punish us for our fiduciary irresponsibility, or hold out for compensation? Once our stockpiles of such materials were exhausted, say goodbye to almost our entire high-tech industry (including most advanced defense systems).
Time to reopen the US rare earth mines that were closed due to environmentalist pressure, methinks . . .