rare earths

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The economics behind China’s rare earths restriction

Rare earth metals are versatile elements which are central to the modern era and future technological advances.  We commonly recognize their existence through use in things such as iPads, plasma TVs and solar panels. Yet it also has a wide range of applications in other sectors such as industrial/manufacturing use as well as military component production and nuclear medicine, which have then given rise to things like fibre-optic technology, advanced batteries, high tech lasers and so forth. Given its importance in providing a new frontier of innovation in the modern economy, it is no wonder the world is concerned over China’s export quotas and production restrictions that have been in place from 2009 to now. This article will analyse the rationale behind the policy.

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