Dispute escalates: China blocks crucial mineral export to Japan

China sharply raising the stakes in a dispute over Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing trawler captain. There are 17 rare-earth elements — some of which, despite the name, are not particularly rare — but two heavy rare earths, dysprosium and terbium, are in especially short supply, mainly because they have emerged as the miracle ingredients of green energy products. All shipments to Japan are halted. Read more @NYTimes