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China and the Geopolitics of Rare Earths$
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Sophia Kalantzakos

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190670931

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190670931.001.0001

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Salt and Oil

Salt and Oil

Strategic Parallels

(p.81) 3 Salt and Oil
China and the Geopolitics of Rare Earths

Sophia Kalantzakos

Oxford University Press

Salt and oil have historically been two important strategic resources, but they have not shared the same trajectory. The discovery of the geographic abundance of salt and technological innovations that have made its most fundamental uses obsolete have ended its strategic importance. Oil, however, continues to power the modern economic miracle, even as the climate crisis worsens. The cases of salt and oil provide analogies to the case of rare earths in their importance in innovation and in the global economy. They also illustrate China’s historically centralized approach to securing and controlling resources that they have deemed as strategic.

Keywords:   salt, oil, strategic resources, China, technological innovation

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