It was recently found that China contain produces 97% of the worlds rare earth oxides. While these elements can be found all around the world, it is China that dominates all the other countries in producing theses rare earth oxides. This wouldn’t be such a big concern for us except for the fact that China is stopping the exportation of these elements to some countries. Japan was the first to loose the ability to buy them from China.
You are probably thinking why in the world does this even matter or, what are these so called rare earth oxides used for. Well, these elements are most commonly found in the newest technologies that we use every day. The smart phones we all have these days are probably one of the biggest users of these rare earth oxides. Computer hard drives and and digital cameras are also big users of these elements.They can also be used to finish products and be mixed with alloys. They serve many purposes in the modern day world and in the newest technologies.
The biggest threat probably comes with the military capability. These elements have a magnetic capability which allows the miniaturization of weapons. The U.S. is concerned with how fast China has the capability to advance very quickly in their weapons technology. If this were to occur, it is possible that China would become a world superpower which is a big concern to the U.S. Steering for smart bombs can be made possible with the magnetism properties of these rare earth oxides. The fins and rudders of fighter jets are also made of this material.
At the other end of the spectrum, these elements are also essential to making “green” technology. Energy efficient light bulbs, hybrid car batteries, and wind turbines all use rare earth elements. Some of these elements include element 63 europium, element 39 yttrium, and element 60 neodymium. I think these are much better uses of the rare elements rather than the all the possible military possibilities that can bring death and destruction to other countries.
I dont know why China would be interested in cutting off the rest of the world from what they have to offer, i cant see what there is to gain from doing that. Maybe somebody else has an idea, but as of now, I just see China trying to create a monopoly. What ever their motive is, i’m sure it wont last very long.