The whole industrial world - Europe, United States, Japan - is dependent on China's rare earth exports. But as it industrializes rapidly, domestic consumption has tripled over the past five years and its own consumption will match production within a few years. Beijing is now reducing exports as it places priority on domestic supply. THere is a growing shortage and prices are climbing.
Deng Xiaoping was prescient when he equated the country's rare earths with the oil of the Middle East in 1992. As we know, the Middle East has been militarily occupied to secure the steady flow of oil. China may be risking its independence if tries to restrict the flow of rare earths.