China controls the global supply of rare earths, a group of minerals critical to the production of high-tech products, from cell phones and televisions to missile defense systems. By imposing increasingly stringent quotas on export supplies and thus driving up rare earth prices, analysts say China appears intent on provoking its international trading partners to take action.

Extracting and processing the group of 17 rare earth minerals is a costly and polluting process, which …

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China Denies Ulterior Motives for Cutting Rare Earths Supply

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