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
*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.