Accession Number : ADA530370


Title :   China's Ace in the Hole Rare Earth Elements


Descriptive Note : Journal article


Corporate Author : FOREIGN MILITARY STUDIES OFFICE (ARMY) FORT LEAVENWORTH KS


Personal Author(s) : Hurst, Cindy A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a530370.pdf


Report Date : Jan 2010


Pagination or Media Count : 7


Abstract : On February 4, 2010, nearly 2 weeks after the Obama administration unveiled a $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan, a Chinese article posted on an online Chinese Communist Party--connected daily newspaper site, as well as on many Chinese blogs and military news sources, suggested banning the sale of rare earth elements (REEs) to U.S. companies as retribution. There was already ample Western concern about potential diminishing access to supplies of REEs, particularly after a 2009 draft report written by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, ytterbium, thulium, and lutetium, and a restriction of neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum exports. The report immediately caused an uproar among rare earth buyers because China produces approximately 97 percent of the world's REEs. While there are sources of rare earth around the world, it could take anywhere from 10 to 15 years from the time of discovery to begin a full-scale rare earth operation. REEs are important to hundreds of high-tech applications, including critical military-based technologies such as precisionguided weapons and night-vision goggles. In exploring the idea of global military might, China appears to be holding an unlikely trump card. The country's grasp on the rare earth element industry could one day give China a strong technological advantage and increase its military superiority. This article focuses on rare earth elements and their importance to military technology. It also demonstrates how China's research and development programs, coupled with its vast reserves of REEs, have the potential to make the country a dominant force in the world.


Descriptors :   *RARE EARTH ELEMENTS , *CHINA , REPRINTS , INDUSTRIES , SITES , CERIUM , ACCESS , SUPPLIES , NEODYMIUM , COMMUNISM , TAIWAN , YTTERBIUM , THULIUM , EUROPIUM , DYSPROSIUM , LUTETIUM , WEAPONS , SOURCES


Subject Categories : Inorganic Chemistry


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE