Why The Chinese Monopoly On Rare Earth Elements Is So Incredibly Dangerous

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Most Americans have no idea why rare earth elements are important or why the Chinese monopoly on them is so dangerous.  But now that China is enforcing strict new quotas on the export of these metals a lot more people are going to start learning about them.  So just exactly what are they?  Well, “rare earth elements” is a name that has been given to 17 metals from the middle of the Periodic Table with nearly unpronounceable names such as lanthanum, cerium, tantalum, neodymium and europium.  These metals are used in an increasing number of high technology products.  Everything from iPods to wind turbines to missile-guidance systems use these metals.  Unfortunately, today China controls over 90 percent of the world supply of rare earth elements.  This puts China in an incredibly powerful position.


It was a huge mistake for the rest of the world to let China develop such a monopoly.  These metals are absolutely essential in today’s world.

Just consider a few of the products that use rare earth elements….

*Hybrid car batteries

*Flat screen televisions

*Cell phones


*Radar systems

*Missile-guidance systems


*Aircraft electronics

*Smart bombs

*Electric car engines

Are you ready for a world without iPods or cell phones?

Well, that is what we would potentially be facing without these rare earth elements.

Now China has announced that they will be significantly cutting back on the export of these metals.

However, there are no export quotas on rare earth metals contained in finished goods from China.

So do you know what that means?

It means even more things will now be made in China.

The rest of the world can start to develop their own supplies of rare earth elements, but that is going to take time and it is going to be very expensive.

Meanwhile, China is going to be developing an increasingly tighter grip over the manufacturing of high-tech products.

That is quite a bit of leverage to have over the rest of the world.

Not only that, but this Chinese monopoly on rare earth elements is a direct threat to U.S. national security.

Today, China is the leading supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

Now how in the world did we allow that to happen?

We have seriously messed up.

China is one of our greatest strategic threats, and now we are dependent on them for high-tech military components.

China already has tremendous leverage over us because they own so much of our national debt, and now the ability to cut off our rare earth elements has given them even more of a strategic advantage.

So what are we going to do one day if they cut off the export of all rare earth elements and they cut off the export of all the high-tech components that our military needs?

What in the world are we going to do then?

In addition, putting Chinese components in so much of our equipment opens the door for all kinds of mischief. 

Just recently, U.S. intelligence agencies informed Congress that allowing Chinese components in the cell phone towers for next generation wireless networks will make our communications extremely vulnerable to electronic spying by China.

But most Americans don’t think that China is any kind of a threat at all.

Most Americans think that they are our dear friends.

The small percentage of Americans that actually are concerned about external threats are mostly fixated on Iran and on hunting down Islamic terrorists in caves in the Middle East.

But please, please, please do not take your eyes off of Russia and China.

Russia and China are increasingly developing closer economic and military ties.  Their military planners openly talk about how a future war with the United States would go.  In fact, many in the top brass in both those nations believe that such a war is inevitable.

The major thing preventing the Russians and Chinese from attacking the U.S. is our strategic nuclear arsenal.  But now Barack Obama wants to cut it down to virtually nothing.

Most of you that are reading this will not be convinced.  You will tell yourselves that China is not a threat.  But just tuck this away in your memory and pull it out in a few years when things are taking a turn for the worse.

Russia and China are both rapidly becoming very powerful and they should be taken very seriously.

Do not take your eyes off of them.

  • Concerned Reader

    The author of this blog hits the nail on the head once again. However, he is right in regards to how Russia and China are the single biggest military threat to the United States. Although I agree with him in every blog, I have to say that between the two countries Russia is the lesser threat when compared to the growing strength of China. Russia had its time in the sun in the twentieth century and their empire has come and gone. Yes, they ar making strides at regaining their position on the world stage(oil and technology), but I can not shake this feeling that their fate will the same as the rest of Europe. Their population is declining and they are suffering from increasingly bigger threats from Muslims and ethnic nationalim.

    This leads me to the question of which is a bigger threat: radical Islam or a resurging China? For now the transnational terrorist groups are a bigger threat while China slowly bides it time in gaining enough power to push the US out of Asia. I am not sure how the war on terrorism will turn out in the long run, but China is taking advantage of America being embroiled in the quagmires of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to gain economic and military power to eventually try to solidify their standing as a super power.

    So far, China is still some what dependant on the US for stability, but within the next decade China is going to start showing ever increasing signs of hostility towards the US in every field. They are going to go after Taiwan one day and eventually send their Pittbull, North Korea, into south Korea. Eventually they will sit their sights onto Japan and eventually turn that country into a subordinate state. Rather than risk economic destruction and a nuclear war, America will give the Pacific region to them to avoid these from occuring.

    We are in the early stages of a paradigm shift. One in which we could very well see the whole sale dismantling of the global empire of the US. If Americans had never racked up so much debt and allowed its industrial infrastructure to leave its borders, we could have stood a better chance at over coming these obstacles, but we will have to wait and see what happens to know for sure.

  • Increasingly, China is playing the role the Japanese Empire did in the 1930’s. The up-and-coming East Asian power that most Americans are ignoring as too backward to be a threat.

    One huge difference this time around — nuclear weapons are no longer just science fiction, but an actual part of both sides’ arsenals. The biggest question about how this coming war will go will probably be the reliability of each side’s nukes and strategic and tactical nuclear doctrine.

  • China is more of a threat to the U.S. on an economic level simply because it is the largest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury Securities. If and when the Chinese tire of holding these debts, the U.S. will be up **** creek without a paddle.


  • It isn’t that I don’t find this alarming or even that I am not paying attention because I am. Make no mistake, China is putting the tight grip on rare elements for strategic reasons. They know full well they have us in a submission hold and you can bet your bottom dollar they will do everything they can to own us. But wtf can we do about it really? Also keep in mind “China isn’t coming to get you and blow you up” what they actually want is our land, once they own everything, they will just move on in (even more).

  • de Malfosse

    Guess it is never to early to lay the foundations for another Boogie-Man.

    No one need attack the US because Uncle Sam is finished. Oh, He will still have His weapons, but … but so what?

    Consider: concern over Rare Earth minerals when the United States is presently unable to manufacture enough small-arms ammunition for the wars it finds itself captured with?

    The Threats to the American people are not external but tyranny within.

  • de Malfosse

    The Threat to Americans is internal tyranny, not external defeat & occupation.

    You write of rare earth minerals yet Uncle Sam is incapable of manufacturing enough small arms ammunition to supply the demands of the several small wars it is tangled within. This collapse of manufacturing is of far more import to “American National Security” (whatever that is in a national security police state).

    Russia & China need never attack Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam is finished logistically and that is what matters.

  • This is interesting because something I am promoting right now is made of rare earth elements too. But it isn’t an aircraft and is enough to go around for everyone.

  • zack

    Take a deep breath. Do you really think the Chinese will stop selling us iPods? Are you worried that Russia and China would stupid enough to ever attack America militarily?

    Get real. de Malfosse is right. The greatest threat to our way of life is our out of control government, which has demonstrated a willingness to curtail our rights (Patriot Act) and hand out the public’s money to the politically connected (TARP).

  • Rod

    This article is oh so true…
    China has its fat little fingers in every country and every resource of value now. They own large quantities of shares in every company of value, they are fast becoming the #1 source of precious metals, rare earth minerals, food supplies and fuel supplies. So when the western world ceases buying the cheap Chinese el-crapola products, as backlash to stimulate their own economies and/or because of economic collapse destroying the retail sector, the Chinese economy and people will survive.
    ie the Chinese know the global economy is collapsing and they’re stockpiling their nuts for the economic winter as it were.
    I’m doing the same and hopefully everyone else is too, as we have 2 months left.

  • Dean

    Rare earths aren’t required for airport patdowns.