China’s behavior as a near-monopolist of rare earths has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. This thesis first examines the underlying causes behind China’s rise to the status of rare-earths near-monopolist, including government support; lax environmental controls; unregulated production; and relatively low costs compared to the rest of the world. Second, the thesis also examines the preeminent international and domestic factors influencing China’s behavior as a near-monopolist of rare earths. International factors include international demand; international trade pressure; international price-setting authority issues; and geopolitical factors. I next identify domestic factors that exert influence over China’s rare earths-related behavior: environmental protection; rare earth resource protection; rare earths industry regulation; and protecting and aiding China’s domestic rare earths industry. The study concludes with a synthesis of the factors influencing China’s rare-earths-related behavior in the overall context of support and direction by China’s Central Government.