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NYTimes Video: China Halts Shipments of Rare Earths

NYTimes Video: China Halts Shipments of Rare Earths | Geography Education |
In September, China stopped shipping rare earths, minerals crucial to military, cell phone and green technologies, to countries around the world. A report from the Bureau for International Reporting.


This 2010 video shows how a primary sector economic activity is reshaping global industry.  Green technologies are dependent on these mining resources and China is the world's rare earth 'superpower.'  Many factories have relocated in China in part because of cheap labor, but also to gain access to these rare earths.   

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 2014 10:09 AM

This New York Times video discusses China limiting rare earths exports. Rare earths are the heavy elements which are important components in many technologies as they are the best permanent magnets. By limiting the exports, or just completely denying a country like Japan, China sees two benefits. The first, the country gets to keep most of its rare earth resources for itself. China is on the verge of needing massive amounts of rare earths for its own people as the standard of living rises. Secondly, China is forcing many industries to open their factories in China if they want access to the rare earths China has a monopoly on, opening them up to Chinese taxes and tariffs.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 2014 1:57 PM

This video discusses how rare earths are important for a green future. China has halted its shipments of rare earths, which are used in cellphones, laptops and electric cars. China has the largest population in the world and is wise for not exporting an abundance of its rare earths. It is important that the U.S. starts to mine in places such as California for these minerals. Mining may not be good for the environment, but the path to a green future starts in a mine. 


Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 17, 2014 1:05 PM

As the video states, China is now realizing its own domestic needs outweighs the desire to export. China needs to go "green" and fast as well as be able to supply its own domestic corporations with the resources they need to supply their own people. An interesting by product of this internalization though, is that it puts its international competitors at a disadvantage. Almost a win-win for them. Japan is a regional competitor and by lowering the amount available to America and Europe, it forces them to speed time and money looking elsewhere. It is both an economic and strategic move, as the civilian needs are important but so are the military needs of rare earths.

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