Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Why China Has Lost The Rare Earths War: The Power of Markets [Forbes]

Forbes playing up the first resource war of the twenty-first century. It has Tim Worstall (a Scandium and exotic metals dealer by day. See his personal blog here) suggesting three pieces of evidence that point to China losing the rare earths war.

Related reading –
Japan finds major rare earth deposits (News.com.au – August 2, 2012)

Winning the Rare Earth Economic War: Luisa Moreno (The AU Report, March 20, 2012)

U.S. and China On Trade War Over Rare Earth Export Restriction (International Business Times, March 13, 2012)

The New Opium War: China’s Rare Earth Minerals (New American Media, March 15, 2012)

It has even popped up as part of an intertextual background of a Cold War between the U.S. and China in the top-selling Call of Duty: Black Ops II computer game. Its entire series has sold over a hundred million copies – China cuts off rare earths. World War ensues. It’s Call of Duty, the video game (Smart Planet, July 6, 2012).

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Why China Has Lost The Rare Earths War: The Power of Markets
Tim Worstall, Contributor
Source – Forbes, published June 24, 2012

This will strike some as over-dramatic but I think it’s fair to say that recent events in the rare earths market have been the first resource war of the 21 st century. And I also think it’s fair to say that China has lost this war as a result of really not understanding sufficiently the power of markets.

Yes, possibly over-dramatic but I do still think that it is true.

The rare earths are the 15 lanthanides plus yttrium and scandium. My professional expertise is with scandium but of course I have a working knowledge of the others and the various marketplaces for them. I have also spent considerable time in recent years exploring the technologies of extraction and processing. I think I’m in a near unique position as an observer of this market: someone well versed in economics and also in the details of the technologies of this industry. It is this combination that leads to my perhaps idiosyncratic views. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Economics, Environment, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Rare Earth, Resources, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , ,

Rare earth, common problems [Global Times]

‘Open secret’ of the Illegal exploitation of rare earth mining in Guangdong where resources are taken for free revealed by the Global Times.

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Rare earth, common problems
By Zhang Zhilong in Xinfeng
Source – Global Times, published July 9, 2012

Modern technology depends on rare earth metals, but their extraction is inflicting an all-too-common cost on shared resources. Rare earth metals, known as “industrial gold,” are still being illegally mined across the mountainous areas of Guangdong Province, despite a recent crackdown.

Guangdong is at the center of illegal mining of rare earth, which destroyed local environment and undermined revenue when smuggled to foreign countries. In order to curb the trend, seven rare earth producing cities in Guangdong signed a contract with the provincial government-backed Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Group on July 7, with one of the aims of protecting the precious resources.

It takes over three hours by coach to travel from Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong, to Xinfeng county in Shaoguan, known for its deposits of heavy rare earth metals. Shatian and Yaotian, the county’s chief towns, are notorious for their illegal mining. More than 30 illegal mining sites were found in February in the so-called “capital of the underground rare earth trade,” according to Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Chinese Model, Corruption, Domestic Growth, Environment, global times, Rare Earth, Resources, Trade, , , , , ,

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