China’s control of rare earth minerals another challenge for President-elect Biden – by Tom Jurkowsky (Capital Gazette – November 22, 2020)

Tom Jurkowsky is a retired Navy rear admiral who served on active duty for 31 years.

In a recent presentation, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite said he thought “China is probably the greatest threat to our country that Americans do not understand.”

He added he believes what we are seeing emerge is a threat beyond any comparison ever in the history of our country.

Braithwaite was addressing the military threat that China poses. We have addressed the exponential growth of the Chinese military on these pages, along with other issues such as our dependency on China for pharmaceutical products; our reliance on China for countless consumer products, due in part to our diminished manufacturing base; and even Wall Street investing in Chinese companies.

These dependencies and actions are part of the threat that Braithwaite refers to. How has this all happened? In his book “The China Nightmare,” Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute, captures it very succinctly — “China has taken advantage of American complacency.”

Another issue that illustrates our complacency is rare earth minerals. Rare earth minerals are a set of 17 metallic elements and are an essential part of many high-tech devices.

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