Chinese Coal Mining- Primary Source Analysis

My paper covers the frequent and often political nature of coal mining operations in China and how they interact in the political arena and public at large. A particularly poignant primary source I found on the China Digital Times website delves directly into this issue. It covers how Chinese officials bribed journalists a total of 2.6 million yuan ($380,000) not to report a mining accident that resulted in 35 people dying.  The officials also bribed the families of the victims not to say anything, keeping the accident unknown for a total of 85 days.

The cover-up represents  massive cultural and societal issues within the country, such as how to reconcile official’s fear and the need to keep face with higher officials. It also took place just before the 2008 Olympics, significant because the country as a whole was trying to appear in the best light possible, even to the extent of cover-ups such as these.

I think this source will help provide context and examples to how the government operates with regard to mining accidents. It also reveals some insight into why the leaders at the top of the party struggle to remedy such issues and rid corruption, because often times the free flow of information is impeded by the fear of reparations.

“China to Try 58 Accused of Covering Up Mine Deaths.” China Digital Times, November 30,        2009. (accessed February 12,2013.)


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