Last year, the world noticed with more than a little trepidation that China was hoarding rare earths. The Middle Kingdom owns an awful lot of the world's known retrievable deposits of Scandium, Yttrium, Europium and Erbium that are often used in minute-but-critical quantities inside all manner of gadgets, and had made it rather …
"While the agency can be justifiably prod of that asset"
That typo hurt!
I would have though China was more politically stable than Australia. It has, after all, had the same governing party for quite a few decades now. Politically *desirable* is a different matter.
Re: Political stability?
True, but the Australian government has less control over the operation of the economy and so is less able to, for example, block or reduce sales of rare earths by fiat. As the introduction of the mining tax amply demonstrated, in these shores what the mining industry wants the mining industry pretty much gets.
There's political stability, and there's stability of operating environment, and one does not necessarily guarantee the other.
Their plan was obvious, with hindsight
Those clever Chinese, concerned about projected long term shortages and high prices of rare earths; decided on a cunning plan to mainipulate the rest of the world into improving the supply of rare earths. The Chinese were willing to suffer short term pain in exchange for the long term gain of everyone. Altruism at its finest.
Japan has already eased the stranglehold China had anyway, They discovered not that long ago that there are also huge deposits of it on the pacific seafloor waiting to be mined!
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