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A webinar on China’s monopoly over rare earths

The Institute of Contemporary Studies Bangalore (ICSB), the Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S) and the Press Institute of India (PII), in association with the Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), Gandhinagar, Gujarat, organised in June a webinar titled, Manoeuvring the Mineral Market: China’s Rare Earths Monopoly. The objective was to focus on the Chinese policy on rare earths and minerals, its implications, and to provide information to policy makers, industry, strategic think-tanks, academia, researchers and the media. Prof Bimal N. Patel, vice-chancellor, Rashtriya Raksha University and member, National Security Advisory Board of India, delivered the inaugural address, and Nabeel Mancheri, secretary general, Rare Earth Industry Association (REIA), Brussels, the keynote.

Lt Gen C.A. Krishnan (Retd), former deputy chief of the Army and former member, Armed Forces Tribunal, made a presentation on the perils of China’s dominance in global rare earths supply chain and India’s fleeting opportunity. This was followed by presentations by Manoj Kewalramani, associate fellow, China Studies, The Takshashila Institution, and Col R.N. Ghosh Dastidar. Krishan Varma, strategic affairs analyst and emeritus faculty, RRU, moderated a panel discussion that focused on the China’s rare earths monopoly. Participating were Satoru Nagao, fellow at Hudson Institute, Washington DC, who spoke about economic security in the Indo-Pacific Region and China’s politics and its impact; Ashok Sharma, visiting fellow at Australian National University, who dwelt on the geopolitics of rare earth materials; Florence W. Yang, assistant professor, College of International Affairs, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, who elaborated on China’s RE market in the Indo-Pacific Region; and C. Balasubramanian, senior research officer, C3S, who spoke about China and the real politics of RE dominance

Commodore R.S. Vasan IN (Retd), director, C3S, summed up the proceedings. Earlier, Sashi Nair, director, PII, welcomed the participants, and Pratap Heblikar, managing trustee, ICSB, provided a perspective of the programme. Nisha Becca Eapen, research officer, C3S, conducted the proceedings.