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Wed May 29, 2019, 01:48 AM

China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earth Metals in Trade War

Source: Bloomberg

Beijing is gearing up to use its dominance of rare earths as a counter in its trade battle with Washington, according to a salvo of media reports in China that included hints from the state planning agency. Stocks of producers surged.

The U.S. shouldn’t underestimate China’s ability to fight the trade war, the People’s Daily, a flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial Wednesday that used some historically significant language on the weight of China’s intent.

The newspaper’s commentary included a rare Chinese phrase that means “don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The specific wording was used by the paper in 1962 before China went to war with India, and “those familiar with Chinese diplomatic language know the weight of this phrase,” the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, said in an article last April. It was also used before conflict broke out between China and Vietnam in 1979.

On rare earths specifically, the People’s Daily said it isn’t hard to answer the question whether China will use the elements as retaliation in the trade war.



Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-29/china-gears-up-to-weaponize-rare-earths-dominance-in-trade-war

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earth Metals in Trade War (Original post)
ansible May 29 OP
lapfog_1 May 29 #1
thewhollytoast May 29 #2
notdarkyet May 29 #3
patphil May 29 #4
FBaggins May 30 #24
GusBob May 29 #5
muriel_volestrangler May 29 #9
lunasun May 29 #15
McKim May 29 #16
KT2000 May 29 #6
Lochloosa May 29 #7
Achilleaze May 29 #8
GreydeeThos May 29 #10
NCjack May 29 #11
Bernardo de La Paz May 29 #13
Bernardo de La Paz May 29 #12
Maxheader May 29 #14
amcgrath May 29 #17
Achilleaze May 29 #21
idahoblue May 29 #18
scarytomcat May 29 #19
TomVilmer May 29 #20
Eugene May 30 #22
Eugene May 30 #23
backtoblue May 30 #25

Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 01:54 AM

1. This is what I was waiting for

and what I predicted.

dump T-bills... maybe, but as a last resort.

Lock up most of the rare earth metal deposits around the planet as well as mid east energy - checkmate.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #1)

Wed May 29, 2019, 02:21 AM

2. And next.... Our Just Desserts!

It did not take long until everyone enjoyed the moments when we got it right, even in crisis. The people from the East especially loved it whenever we had a dish-wreck. A dish-wreck is typically when a server crashes into another server and orders are spilled.

The proper response from the crew is to cheer and clap.

Sounds cruel right? It's not. It's all part of the dance. The ritual dispels tension by making light of the event that makes everyone aware of what needs to be done to replace the order.

So, if you ever hear a crash in a restaurant kitchen followed by cheering and clapping it's just a well tuned crew letting their servers know that, "It's just food, we'll make more."

Customers be damned.

Toast

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #1)

Wed May 29, 2019, 02:30 AM

3. I've thought so for awhile too.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 02:35 AM

4. the Chinese government doesn't have to worry about being voted out of office

they can make unpopular decisions that harm their people as a means of fighting an economic war.
Besides, they manufacture so many things we need and no longer make.
We can't win a trade war with China.
We would have to rebuild our manufacturing capabilities first, and that would take a decade or more.
China knows this.
And then there is the other possibility that they just tell us to f**k off and turn to other world markets to buy and sell with.
Rare earth minerals are just one thing they can use to fight this war.

We are so screwed.

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Response to patphil (Reply #4)

Thu May 30, 2019, 01:08 PM

24. That would be true IF China and the US were the only countries

Fortunately... we aren’t.

It’s comparatively easy to find replacement suppliers of cheap labor. Comparatively difficult to replace the largest consumer market in the world.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 02:56 AM

5. Where do rare earth metals come from?

Africa

Who is all over Africa in the last decade?

China

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Response to GusBob (Reply #5)

Wed May 29, 2019, 05:51 AM

9. No, they come from China - that's the point

From https://geology.com/articles/rare-earth-elements/

Production/tons Reserves/tons
China 105,000 44,000,000
Australia 20,000 3,400,000
Russia 3,000 18,000,000
Brazil 2,000 22,000,000
Thailand 1,600 not available
India 1,500 6,900,000
Malaysia 300 30,000
Vietnam 100 22,000,000
Greenland -- 1,500,000
United States -- 1,400,000
South Africa -- 860,000
Canada -- 830,000
Malawi -- 140,000

World total (rounded) 130,000 120,000,000

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Response to GusBob (Reply #5)

Wed May 29, 2019, 08:16 AM

15. What is the US doing with Africa ? Cutting ties & calling countries there shitholes

But the materials referenced are in China mainland

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Response to GusBob (Reply #5)

Wed May 29, 2019, 08:51 AM

16. Yes!!!!

Yes, China is all over Africa for over a decade building roads and schools while we build military bases! Who is building and who is destroying? Our foreign policy is stupid and short sighted.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 03:32 AM

6. even I saw this coming

and I am not a trade specialist. While this country is tearing itself apart, China has formed trade pacts with vital countries that have necessary natural resources, such as Africa where rare earth is found.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 04:07 AM

7. This is a big deal.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 04:56 AM

8. Thanks republicans

This is another massive republican screw up

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 06:25 AM

10. The next escalation of this everybody-loses-conflict is food wars

Trump will take steps to prevent China from importing food. We have a sad because we don't have our electronics; China has a sad because people are dying from starvation.

WE WIN! USA, USA, USA --

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 07:09 AM

11. Yep. China is serving "the "best negotiator in the world" his ass on a platter.

If I were a boxing judge, at the opening of round 2, I have the score China 2 and USA 0. Looks like this fight will not go the distance. Probably over now, with Trump staggering around in the ring, and his manager trying to find the towel to toss into the ring.

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Response to NCjack (Reply #11)

Wed May 29, 2019, 07:29 AM

13. tRump no skill w powerful counter-parties. He's skilled at crushing $200K contractor jobs in NYC. nt

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 07:27 AM

12. People in thread confusing hard metals like chromium/vanadium fr Africa with rare earths fr China

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 07:53 AM

14. Before the war, I had been reading about chinas rare earth metals...

and the worry they would restrict exports...Wondered when they would play that card..
Stumpys concern?
"Hell we'll use steam!!"....such a pathetic...

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 09:36 AM

17. That's a stupid headline

Would you say Trump has 'weaponized' soy beans ?

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Response to amcgrath (Reply #17)

Wed May 29, 2019, 02:03 PM

21. Yup. Him and his republican cronies

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 09:51 AM

18. I have not heard anything about Mountain Pass REM

Mountain Pass, Nevada was the site of the worlds largest rare earth mine. I haven’t heard any mention of that in the discussions about rare earth in the press. Here is some of the story.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_Pass_rare_earth_mine

Rare earth mining is a nasty business.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 10:29 AM

19. they can keep their rare earth minerals, just don't mess with our

fireworks
we don't do manufacturing much any more

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 01:49 PM

20. Rare Earth Metals are not rare...

... but production of them are. Since it is a very dirty business, the rest of the world has happily left that job to the Chinese. And now few other places has the technology to build up such production in a hurry.
http://fortune.com/2019/05/29/china-rare-earth-metals-trade-war/

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 12:35 PM

22. Pentagon seeks funds to reduce U.S. reliance on China's rare earth metals

Source: Reuters

BUSINESS NEWS MAY 29, 2019 / 1:43 PM / UPDATED 6 HOURS AGO

Pentagon seeks funds to reduce U.S. reliance on China's rare earth metals

Phil Stewart, Andrea Shalal
5 MIN READ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department is seeking new federal funds to bolster domestic production of rare earth minerals and reduce dependence on China, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, amid mounting concern in Washington about Beijing’s role as a supplier.

The Pentagon’s request was outlined in a report that has been sent to the White House and briefed to Congress, said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a Pentagon spokesman.

Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in both consumer products, from iPhones to electric car motors, and critical military applications including jet engines, satellites and lasers.

Rising tensions between the United States and China have sparked concerns that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war between the world’s top two economic powers.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-usa-rareearth-pentagon/pentagon-seeks-funds-to-reduce-u-s-reliance-on-chinas-rare-earth-metals-idUSKCN1SZ2C6

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 12:55 PM

23. China willing to meet reasonable rare earth demand from other countries

Source: Reuters

BUSINESS NEWS MAY 30, 2019 / 3:50 AM / UPDATED 9 HOURS AGO

China willing to meet reasonable rare earth demand from other countries

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is willing to meet reasonable demand for rare earths from other countries, but it would be unacceptable that countries using Chinese rare earths to manufacture products would turn around and suppress China, its commerce ministry said.

That would be unacceptable, Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, said at a weekly media briefing on Thursday, without identifying any country.

President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths plant last week had sparked speculation that China would use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the trade war.

Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-rareearth/china-willing-to-meet-reasonable-rare-earth-demand-from-other-countries-idUSKCN1T00QU

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 01:45 PM

25. And who's company is providing security for China's mineral search?

Frontier Group, aka Blackwater.

(Or whatever subsidiary/shell company it's called now)

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