China – US Trade War – Rare Earth?
Beijing has dropped a bombshell in its escalating trade war with the United States. With one shot, it could shoot-down the entire F-35 stealth fighter production program. It could cripple Silicon Valley. It could send Apple into administration.
"United States, don't underestimate China's ability to strike back," said an official mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, the People's Daily.
China has, by far, the worlds' greatest reserves of rare earths — needed in Circuit boards. Batteries. Sensors. Thrusters. Satellites to Jet engines. China last year produced 78 per cent of the world's rare earths, US relies upon it for up to 80 per cent of its imports
"Will rare earths become a counter weapon for China to hit back against the pressure the United States has put on for no reason at all? The answer is no mystery," the People's Daily declared rhetorically. "Don't say we didn't warn you!"
Chinese newspaper Global Times warned that "If the US fails to exercise restraint, it will see that "China is far from running out of cards, and we have the will and determination to fight the US to the end” said.
The Trump administration has imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US250 billion in Chinese imports and is planning to tax the $US300 billion in imports that have so far been spared. And it escalated the stakes this month by putting the Chinese telecom giant Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bars US companies from supplying it with computer chips, software and other components without government approval.