China has been quietly exploring the economic damage it could inflict to US and European companies – including defense contractors – if they were to impose export ‘restrictions’ on 17 rare-earth materials, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Notably, the US government relies on these rare earths for the manufacture of F-35 jets and other sophisticated weaponry, which use them for critical components such as electrical power systems and magnets.
“The government wants to know if the US may have trouble making F-35 fighter jets if China imposes an export ban,” said one Chinese government adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity.
One rare earth metal for example, samarium cobalt, is used in precision guided missiles and fighter jets, and advanced communications systems.
FT added that “[t]he Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last month proposed draft controls on the production and export of 17 rare earth minerals in China, which controls about 80% of global supply.”– READ MORE
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --