Rare Earths: Paradigms of Connection and Disruption
The case of rare earths provides an important window into a new set of international challenges. China, a major power on the rise, maintains its dominance over these crucial strategic materials showing its willingness to use its position to further its political and economic goals. Moreover, the case provides insight into the overall inability of China’s international competitors and rivals to effectively remedy this asymmetry, allowing China to maintain its critical advantage in high tech, renewables and defense applications.As elements, rare earths are enablers. As political instruments, they are increasingly turning into a catalyst in a new era of potentially fraught international relations.
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