Posts tagged ‘Coal mining’

10/11/2016

China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo | Reuters

Chinese state media has warned the U.S. president-elect against isolationism and interventionism, calling instead for the United States to actively work with China to maintain the international status quo.

President-elect Donald Trump threatened to tear up trade deals and pursue a more unilateral foreign policy under his “America First” principle during a tempestuous election campaign.

But China and other foreign governments are uncertain how much of Trump’s rhetoric will be translated into policy because he has at times made contradictory statements and provided few details of how he would deal with the world.

Trump often targeted China in the campaign, blaming Beijing for U.S. job losses and vowing to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. The Republican also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. U.S. isolationist policies had “accelerated the country’s economic crisis” during the Great Depression, warned a commentary by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, though it added that “election talk is just election talk”.

The commentary also cautioned against any tilt towards intervention.

POTENTIAL PRAGMATIST

The Chinese media in the past have criticized the United States and other Western powers for intervening in Afghanistan and Iraq and meddling in international hot spots such as Ukraine.

“History has proven that U.S. overseas military interventionism causes them to pay disastrous political and economic costs,” the commentary said. Hillary Clinton was widely seen in China as the more hawkish of the two candidates, while some Chinese commentators saw Trump as a potential pragmatist on foreign policy. But Beijing fears the unpredictability of a Trump presidency as it seeks to maintain an equilibrium in Sino-U.S. relations while dealing with the daunting tasks of a reform agenda to combat a slowing economy at home.

A second Xinhua commentary published on Thursday morning said the new U.S. president and China should “jointly build a new model of major power relations”. That echoes the position of Chinese President Xi Jinping that says global powers should work to accommodate, not contain, a rising China in the international system.

‘SHOCK OF HERESY’

Trump’s victory was watched closely on the Chinese internet with the tag “Trump has won” becoming the most-searched term on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblog service, on Wednesday afternoon in Asia, well before the race was conceded.

Some of the posts agreed that Trump might be just the change agent the United States needs now.

The U.S. has chosen indeterminacy in order to create change,” according to a post by Tsinghua University professor Sun Liping on Thursday that has been shared over a thousand times. “When the usual, determined method has already been unable to solve the problems, then you need the shock of heresy instead.”

Chinese state media had previously said the U.S. election process reflects a troubled political system, and showed an increasingly divided, disillusioned and indignant U.S. citizenry. “This election has also made clear that the U.S. political system is already caught in a predicament,” a third Xinhua commentary said. “As for when it will exit this predicament, the answer is still unknown.” The Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling party’s People’s Daily newspaper, said Trump’s victory had “dealt a heavy blow to the heart of U.S. politics” but that he would be unable to make many changes in U.S. foreign policy.”

In an elite-controlled U.S., most of those holding power don’t support Trump. And U.S. allies across the world will pressure Washington to restrain Trump from isolationism,” it said.

Source: China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo | Reuters

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24/08/2016

The perils of peace in China’s commodity industries | The Economist

WHEN the number of strikes plummets, something significant is usually going on. Strikes in China’s mining, iron and steel industries have fallen from more than 40 in January to four a month or fewer between May and August, according to China Labour Bulletin, an NGO based in Hong Kong. The explanation seems to be that China is backtracking on plans for the restructuring of state-owned firms in these sectors.

In February the government announced that it would redeploy 1.8m people, or 15% of the workforce, in the bloated and debt-laden coal, iron and steel industries. Just after that, a huge strike over unpaid wages by coal miners in the north-east dramatised the risks of trying to force through massive lay-offs and plant closures. So local officials have dragged their feet. According to the national planning authority, in the first seven months of the year provincial governments achieved only 38% of their full year’s targets for coal production cuts.

Fear of unrest is not the only explanation. Commodity prices have rebounded slightly this year, so local authorities are playing a game of chicken, keeping mines and factories open and hoping the neighbours will close theirs, so they themselves will be the ones to gain from higher prices. China itself is not benefiting.

Source: The perils of peace in China’s commodity industries | The Economist

03/02/2015

Mines Shut as China Burns Less Coal – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Yu County, a sprawling mountainous area in China’s northern industrial province of Hebei, is known for its ancient temples and coal mines. These days, the temples remain, but the mines are vanishing. As the WSJ’s Chuin-Wei Yap and Rhiannon Hoyle report:

“We used to have around 300 coal mines in the area. Now it’s down to 70-plus,” said a manager of a local pit who identified himself only as Mr. Cheng. Shrinking profit margins and a failure to meet safety standards have led many to close, Mr. Cheng said. His own midsize company, Kanghe Coal Mining Co., was swallowed by a larger competitor, state-owned Kailuan Group Co., last year.

What is happening in Yu County is an illustration of the bleak times for the global coal industry. Tougher environmental standards coupled with shrinking demand have led to the closing of mines across China and sent coal prices to their lowest in six years. China’s coal output likely fell 2.5% in 2014, the first annual decline in 14 years, the China Coal Industry Association said last week. And while full-year data aren’t yet available, official statistics show China consumed 1.1% less coal in the first three quarters of 2014 than a year earlier.

via Mines Shut as China Burns Less Coal – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

29/07/2014

Adani gets clearance for $16.5 billion coal mine in Australia

Adani gets environmental clearance for $16.5 billion coal mine in Australia

Despite serious environmental concerns, the Australian federal government approved the Adani group’s $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project. When completed, it will be one of the biggest coal mines in the world.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

30/08/2012

* Miners killed and trapped in China colliery blast

BBC News: “A gas explosion at a coal mine in south-west China has killed 19 people and left 28 trapped underground, state media say.

Rescue workers carry survivor out of Qianqiu colliery in Henan province - 5 November 2011

Efforts are underway to rescue the remaining miners at the Xiaojiawan mine in Panzhihua city in Sichuan province.

The blast happened on Wednesday evening when about 150 miners were underground, city officials said.

By Thursday morning, more than 100 people had been rescued and taken to hospital, reports said.

Chinese state television said rescue teams had retrieved the bodies of 16 miners who died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Another three people died in hospital.

The mine is owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co Ltd. Its officials are assisting in a police investigation, the city government said in a statement on its official microblogging site.

Accidents are frequent in China’s mining industry, which is criticised for poor safety standards.

Official figures show that 1,973 people died in coal mining accidents in the country last year.

While this represented a 19% drop compared to the year before, some have suggested that actual numbers could be higher as not all incidents may have been reported.

China’s central government has introduced measures aimed at improving standards but these directives are often ignored at local level.”

via BBC News – Miners killed and trapped in China colliery blast.

Another week, another disaster. China has a very poor record of mine safety, though central government is trying its best to set standards. But road, bridge and rail safety are also issues. Though, thankfully, there have been no recent air disasters.

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