Obama, Hu share moment of silence for dead miners

April 13, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao interrupted their high-powered diplomacy on Monday to share a moment of silence in memory of the miners who have died in recent accidents in both countries. NUCLEAR-SUMMIT/

Obama paused during vital talks ranging from sanctions against Iran to China’s yuan currency on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit to tell Hu about the 29 miners lost in a mine blast in West Virginia last week.

Recalling 85 miners had also died in China’s Shanxi province in the last 10 days, Obama asked both delegations to take a moment to honor the dead, the White House said.

The United States, whose own coal mining industry a century ago was plagued with the frequency of disasters China still experiences, has for the past decade conducted a mine safety program with China. The program includes a model mine in Shanxi province and brings Chinese safety officials and engineers to West Virginia for training.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama greets China’s Hu Jintao)

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