The Political Economy of the Chinese Coal Industry: Black Gold and Blood-Stained Coal

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-12-01
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Coal mining in China is a huge industry, and, close to the centre of China's economic transformation, provides an excellent case study through which to consider the broader issues of China's transition from socialism to capitalism. This book examines key aspects of China's coal industry which illustrate the political economy of China's economic transformation. It shows how the coal industry was one of the pillars of the planned economy and how its transition to market-based operations has been particularly protracted and difficult, with particular difficulties in moving prices from the artificially low prices of the planned economy to market determined prices, and in determining financial performance where performance is affected significantly by external factors and artificially set prices. It considers the growth of small rural coal mines as part of the Township and Village Enterprises ' TVEs ' programme which has been spectacular and which has brought a level of prosperity to many areas where small manufacturing enterprises are not competitive, but where the nature of the coal industry means that the resulting social and environmental problems have been particularly difficult. It also explores how miners, one of the most vulnerable parts of the Chinese working class, have fared under capitalism, pointing out that there is considerable doubt over whether their situation was better under socialism. Overall, the book uses the coal industry to illustrate the great dramas of Chinese economic transformation.

Author Biography

Tim Wright is Emeritus Professor of Chinese Studios, University of Sheffield, OK. He is author of Coal Mining in China's Economy and Society, 1895-1937.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Glossaryp. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xv
Introduction: China's political economy and the coal industryp. 1
The Chinese coal mining industryp. 17
China's coal industry: growth and development over the long termp. 19
Rents, prices and profits in coal miningp. 45
Rent seeking and the political economy of coal pricesp. 47
The financial performance of coal enterprisesp. 66
Coal mining in China's rural industrializationp. 91
The rural coal mines and their owners: social costs and benefitsp. 93
The central state and the rural minesp. 115
The fate of coal miners in China's changing economyp. 139
Low wages and poor job security?p. 141
Coal mine safety: the recordp. 158
Coal mine safety: political determinantsp. 180
Conclusion: the coal mining industry and the Chinese statep. 199
Appendix: some notes on the datap. 205
Referencesp. 213
Indexp. 244
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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