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China’s “Cobalt Empire”

China’s steadily deteriorating relations with the United States and European Union countries are prompting renewed attention on who controls the supply chains for the strategic minerals, elements, and metals that are essential ingredients in electronics and next-generation technologies.

For the past two decades, U.S. and European companies and governments have looked anxiously at China’s growing dominance of these strategic natural resources but didn’t do much to build alternative supply networks. That’s now starting to change.

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