Why do the Japanese want to exchange good steel for metal silicon?

Why do the Japanese want to exchange good steel for metal silicon?

As Japanese people know, they can never sell at a loss. But what is the reason behind this seemingly unequal trade that in the last century Japan offered to exchange China’s blast furnace slag for high-quality iron? What are Japanese people doing? Looking back at history, China at that time had a difficult time working on steel, and all the people participated in the steel making process. Most of China’s land was full of blast furnaces, and many people used their home furnishings to make steel. However, the quality of steel at that time was not high, and existing technology was insufficient to support China’s refining of high-quality steel. At the time, Japan was trading high-quality steel for Chinese blast furnace slag. After all, blast furnace slag is just a pile of waste in the eyes of the Chinese. By trading steel with Japan, the Chinese can not only obtain high-quality steel but also learn about Japanese steelmaking technology.

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The Japanese people, an island nation lacking in mineral resources, relied on imports for most of their mineral resources, but they inspected China’s mine resources and instead of buying directly, they bought blast furnace slag. Chinese Premier Zhou En rejected this abnormality and decided to have the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Mining Research conduct research on high slag. Analysis revealed that the slag contains an abundance of valuable components such as metallic silicon. Why is it that even smart Japanese people can throw away high-quality steel and buy metallic silicon? Metallic silicon has a wide range of uses, and can be used to make not only glass but also alloy castings and parts for space desks and automobiles, as well as ultra-pure semiconductor chips.

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