Checkmate By China? 1. "For years, China has been laying the foundations for control of rare earth mineralselements with an atomic number between 57 and 71, plus scandium and yttrium. China woke up to their usefulness long before any other government. In the 1960s, it started trying to get all the rare earths it could out of mines in Inner Mongolia. These minerals are used in small quantities in a host of products from iPods to hard drives, guided missiles to smart bombs. And China is using its control of 97 percent of the industry to hold the world to ransom. a. During the 1980s the government offered subsidized loans to rare earth miners and similar industries. Production increased by 40 percent during the decade. The Chinese Society of Rare Earths was founded, the organization that, to this day, publishes the only two scientific journals dedicated to rare earth elements. b. Some uses include microwave filters, laser systems, lamps in television screens, projectors, optical glass. 2The New York Times published a story on October 19 quoting three anonymous industry officials saying that China had quietly stopped all rare earths shipments to the U.S. and Europe. The embargo is expanding 3. In July, the U.S. Congressional Research Service said that developing new rare earth mining projects could take 10 years. Mining rare earth elements produces radioactive waste, which means that mining companies have to dig through a mountain of paperwork before they can even make a dent in the ground. In Western nations, they face stiff opposition from the environmental lobby. a. We are at economic war, said Jack Lifton, an expert on rare minerals. The world where you could get everything for a price is history. And the West has been sound asleep on this. The level of ignorance about the upstream of mineral supply is just out of this world. Not just Rare Earths: 4. The need for security goes beyond even metals and minerals. The Oakland Institute, an American think tank, says that China is seeking to acquire land as part of a long-term strategy for food security. a. Australia and New Zealand are especially worried about Chinas appetite for farmland. In June, a Tasmanian real estate agent reported that China had a strong interest in dairy farms in the north of the island. Bright Food Group, a firm controlled by the Chinese government, bought New Zealands third-largest dairy processing company and owner of 15 farms, Synlait. b. But farmland isnt the only aspect of agricultural production that China is interested in. A consortium of government-owned Chinese companies is vying to take over Potash Corporation, based in Saskatchewan, Canada. Potash Corp. produces 20 percent of the worlds fertilizer and sells 45 percent of its goods to North American farmers. Experts worry that should China buy it, the fertilizer would be redirected to China. s. At the same time, Beijing is working hard to increase its naval power. After all, if it owns natural resources around the world, it has to be able to keep shipping lanes open during a crisis. " Why Chinese Miners Are Smiling | theTrumpet.com by the Philadelphia Church of God Wadda ya' think, Asian pols just smarter than Western?