Beijing’s near-monopoly on the world’s critical metals and minerals is raising concerns about America’s vulnerability at a time of rising tensions with China, according to interviews for a new episode of POLITICO’s Global Translations podcast being released Wednesday.
“The industrial age was fueled by coal and oil and fossil fuels. But this information age is increasingly being powered by critical minerals,” said Sharon Burke, director of the Resource Security group at the think tank New America who served as assistant secretary of defense for operational energy in the Obama administration, and in the State Department during the Bush administration.
The U.S. imports more than 80% of its supply of rare earths and minerals from China. Beijing’s cornering of that market could have broad consequences.