Changing China

Giant on the move

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The Price of Coal

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What drives a miner to work in one of China’s notoriously dangerous pits, where 3,000 people were killed in 2008 alone?

“We all know mining is dangerous, but what can we do?” Li Liangcang, a farmer form eastern China, asked me in his tiny rented miner’s house in the country’s frozen north. “I’m not young any more – 37 or 38 – and it’s too late to learn a skill. It’s not a question of choice. you have a family that depends on you. If you don’t do this job, what else can you do?”

For his 56-year-old friend Zhu Xiuli, it’s a similar story.

But then what would their families do without them?

 
To see a Reuters report on the relatives of men killed in a recent blast at the nearby Xinxing mine click here

Photo credit: Jason Lee

Chinese coal to Copenhagen

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Chinese coal mines are never far from domestic headlines and are increasingly gaining international attention as Copenhagen’s climate change talks approach.

The talks will focus on setting emissions cuts to fight global warming and China, the world’s largest polluter, is heavily reliant on fossil fuel.

Where others won’t go

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Chinese mining companies are expanding overseas because they are cost-effective and willing to work in dangerous and risky areas where others are unwilling to go, Yang Junmin, vice general
manager of Beijing Sinodrill, asserted at the Reuters China Investment Summit.

Some critics accuse Beijing of supporting corrupt regimes in Africa, the Middle East and Latin American, where Chinese companies are investing aggressively to secure access to raw materials to fuel the country’s rapid economic growth.

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