China rare earths ban the stuff of nightmares

The FT ran a story last night to stoke a bit of fear. China is apparently ruminating about banning rare-earth commodities for export:

China is exploring whether it can hurt US defence contractors by limiting the export of rare earth minerals that are crucial for the manufacture of F-35 fighter jets and other sophisticated weaponry, according to people involved in a government consultation.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last month proposed draft controls on the production and export of 17 rare earth minerals in China, which controls about 80 per cent of global supply.

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