In recent decades the world has gradually understood the importance of transitioning to a clean energy economy, buoyed by the prospective of catastrophic environmental collapse. However, few know that this transition largely rests on the employment of a few critical minerals whose global demand is set to skyrocket in the near future. Of particular importance in this case are the so called “rare earth” minerals, which have been at the center of US-China tensions on trade and technology in the recent decade. This article will give a brief account of the current situation regarding the rare earth elements supply chain and how it has been at the center of Us-China competition.
- In the present world computers, cars, phones, televisions, refrigerators have become commodities which are so present that it is difficult for many to imagine a life without them. All these items work thanks to tiny devices called semiconductors. But what are they? How are they produced? And how have they ended up at the center of the present US-China trade war? This article will attempt to give a brief account of the present US-China competition on semiconductors, how it is affected by external factors like the Covid-19 pandemic, and what it might entail for the future.