Rare earth quandary: China has US by the throat – by Dave Makichuk (Asia Times – March 28, 2021)


The facts are nothing short of startling. A high-tech F-35 stealth fighter jet contains 920 lbs. of rare earth elements (REEs). Each US Navy Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS destroyer has 5,200 lbs., and a Virginia-class submarine has 9,200 lbs.

These commodities are also key to the future of alternative energy, electric vehicles, mobile phones, and even headphones. Combine that with the fact that 80% of all American rare earth supplies come from China.

A nation now run by leader, Xi Jinping, who recently ordered his Marine Corps — in an act of sheer madness, or, to up the ante on the US — to prepare for war.

It now controls four-fifths of the global mined supply of rare earths, and an even larger share of the manufacture of powerful rare earth magnets — industries worth US$13 billion a year combined.

This gives the Chinese the ability to choke off the West’s economies while the struggle to produce the vital elements elsewhere is mounted. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is reeling from a disastrous showing in Anchorage last week, where Chinese officials launched a history-making vindictive diatribe, attacking everything America stands for, and then some.

For the rest of this article: https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/rare-earth-riddle-can-us-dodge-chinas-monopoly/