Thursday, January 06, 2005

China Coal Miners' Safety Crisis

China may lead in coal mine fatalities worldwide, with more than 4,000 miners' deaths reported in 2004; some sources cite higher figures. Fatalities may be rising as China is already the worldwide leader in coal production and demand for coal within China continues to soar. The Chinese government has pledged to put more attention into coal mine safety. The U.S. government last year signed agreements with China to work together on occupational safety isssues, including mine safety. It will be ineresting to see what 2005 will hold.

The Standard, "China's Business Newspaper," reports an expected shortfall in Chinese coal, even though production of 2 billion tons is predicted (about twice the U.S. annual coal production).

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/China/GA05Ad06.html

Price incresases are squeezing Chinese power producers, according to the Internatrional Herald Tribune:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/01/03/bloomberg/sxpower.html

The government recently arrested about 20 people for illegal mining in connection with a fire in November that killed 70 miners:

http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11870894%255E1702,00.html

Premier Wan Jibao lays a wreath for coal miners killed in a November 28 accident, and visits with victims' families:

http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20050103-090631-4406r.htm
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/050104/ap/d87d1gh00.html

U.S./China agreements:

http://www.msha.gov/MEDIA/PRESS/2004/NR040621.HTM

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