CHINA’S SECRET WEAPONS REVISITED !!! there are 12 of them.
They are called REEs – ‘Rare Earth Elements’. To understand see the Blog of 8 October 2020.
There are several reports in S.E. Asia media that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MiiT) in Beijing, is reviewing whether and how to control the export of REEs. However, MiiT notes “export controls are a double-edged sword that should be applied carefully”. Otherwise, they note that China’s rivals could be motivated to increase their own production, thus undermining China’s dominance of 80 per cent of global supply of REEs.
The reason for this current review? It is almost certainly because REEs are crucial to the construction of F-35 fighters, which the US is reported to be selling to Taiwan
Beijing has long been aware of the Pentagon’s concern at US reliance on China for REEs which are used in everything from precision-guided missiles and drones, to also smartphones, electric vehicles and even wind turbines.
Whilst China’s dominates the mining of REEs, production is starting again in the US and increasing in Australia. Also, now in Myanmar – unless the Generals shut the border!!
More significantly China maintains a near global monopoly of the refining processes which turn REE’s ores into manufacturing material.
Ores mined in the US (as well as Australia and Myanmar) must be sent to China for refining. The US has no refining capacity of its own yet.