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Seasteading Aficionado
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China... has now quietly halted some shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said this week.

The Chinese action, involving rare earth minerals that are crucial to manufacturing many advanced products, seems certain to further intensify already rising trade and currency tensions with the West....Chinese leaders are willing to use their growing economic muscle....

China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of products as diverse as cellphones, large wind turbines and guided missiles. Any curtailment of Chinese supplies of rare earths is likely to be greeted with alarm in Western capitals, particularly because Western companies are believed to keep much smaller stockpiles of rare earths than Japanese companies.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/busin ... .html?_r=1

Trade Wars never end well, especially during a world-wide depression. I hope you saw that, some of these rare earth metals have military applications.
 
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