China controls the supply of crucial war minerals
- Recent moves to restrict their flow highlight a danger to the West
In 2014 Tom Price, a commodities strategist, visited a “funny little building" in China’s south-west. It was a warehouse where Fanya, a local trading firm, stored metals including gallium, germanium and indium. The company’s “stockpiles" simply sat in boxes on shelves. Yet for some of the minerals, these meagre supplies represented the majority of global stocks. A year later Fanya was closed by China’s government, which kept the stash—as well as the reserves and plants to produce more.