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    China's Dangerous Mines

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    NTDTelevision

    by NTDTelevision

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    As news of the successful rescue of 33 Chilean miners spread around the world, experts say China could learn valuable lessons from Chile’s approach as it is home to the worlds' deadliest mining industry.

    One source says the news media in China does not report on all the mine disasters that occur.

    [Prof. Hu Xingdou, Beijing Institute of Technology]: (male, Mandarin)
    "I think that first the information has to be open and transparent. The situation in the Chilean mine was, from the start, broadcast to the world. In the past in China, as soon as a disaster occurred, information was blocked from the media."

    China is frequently hit by mine disasters, mostly in coalmines, which killed more than 2,000 people last year.

    Authorities have failed to impose safety regulations on its mines.

    [Prof. Hu Xingdou, Beijing Institute of Technology]: (male, Mandarin)
    "Perhaps we have a few places where the government bureau and the supervisory office illegally neglect their duty, some government leaders also hold shares in coal mines so they turn a blind eye to illegal operations."

    And the focus has been on making profit, and not so much on the welfare of the coal miners.

    [Prof. Hu Xingdou, Beijing Institute of Technology]: (male, Mandarin)
    "Our leaders still attach little importance to mine disasters. In their hearts there is no feeling that you must put people first and prioritize the person's life, they still do not think that way. They place the most importance on increasing GDP, increasing the economy and growth."

    Coalmining is extremely dangerous because of the likely presence of methane, a toxic gas that can be explosive, depending on the concentration.

    China is the world's largest coal producer and consumer.