If you have been following this blog you will have noticed that over the last month or so I have concentrated on the rare earth elements. But why?
Well, the idea beind this was inspired by an article I read in the Sunday Times on the 31st October 2010, titled, ‘China’s new tradewall’. This has also been covered on the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11581288)
Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chinaimg.png
The article focused on the uses of some of the rare earth elements, the (rising) cost of them and that China produces 97% of the worlds supply of rare earth elements. A situation arose last year when China reduced exports of one of the elements which had the effect of hugely driving up costs. Is this unreasonable or just good business sense? Well, everybody will have a slightly different opinion of this.
I thought I would just add my two pennies to the debate. The rare earth elements are not actually that rare at all. If developed nations are worried about relying on Chinese exports surely it would make good economical sense to invest in the infra structure needed to extract these metals in their own countries? In the long term, it may even be more cost effective.