In 2019, the United States imported 80 percent of its rare earth minerals from China, the US Geological Survey says.
The European Union gets 98 percent of its supply from China, the European Commission said last year.
Amid the transition to green energy in which rare earth minerals are sure to play a role, China's market dominance is enough to sound an alarm in western capitals.
Cars and turbines -
Rare earth minerals with names like neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium are crucial to the manufacture of magnets used in industries of the future like wind turbines and electric cars. And they are already present in consumer goods such as smartphones, computer screens and telescopic lenses.
Others have more traditional uses, like cerium for glass polishing and lanthanum for car catalysts or optical lenses.