【Japan Himalaya League】 Author: Beiji Translator: Zhezhe
Members of Congress proposed a bill in the Federal Senate on January 14 requiring the contractors of the Department of Defense to stop importing rare earths from Communist China by 2026.
The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Federal Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Democratic Federal Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona. It is the latest in a series of U.S. legislation aimed at responding to the CCP’s monopoly on the rare earth industry.
The bill required Pentagon contractors to stop using the rare earths of Communist China for four years. The sponsors expect that the bill may be incorporated into Pentagon funding legislation later this year.
Rare earths are known as “industrial vitamins.” It is a combination of 17 chemical elements. Because of its unique physical and chemical properties, it is crucial for many high-precision technologies such as military laser-guided weapons, advanced fighters, missiles, mobile phones, and electric vehicles commonly used by people.
According to the report of the U.S. Congressional Research Office (CRS), the F-35 fighter produced by Lockheed Martin, an important defense contractor, contains 417 kilograms of rare earth material, while a nuclear submarine needs more than 4 tons of rare earth.
The application of rare earths originated in World War II and was first developed and used by American military scientists in the military industry. However, in the past 30 years, due to the serious environmental pollution caused by rare earth refining, the United States has decided to close rare earth mines and import them abroad instead. As a result, the CCP took this opportunity to gradually control the whole industry.
After the start of the Sino-US trade war in 2019, the CCP once published an article in its party newspaper, People’s Daily, threatening to play the “rare earth card” against the United States, which made the United States realize the vulnerability of its rare earth supply dependence. Senator Tom Cotton, as a member of the U.S. Senate Military and Intelligence Committee, has repeatedly called on the United States to expand the source of rare earths and establish its own rare earth industry, thus reducing its dependence on rare earth imports from Communist China so that it can deal with it calmly in times of crisis.
Edited & Posted by: Ranting
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