The coal industry has been and continues to be of critical importance for China's economic modernisation. With its huge labour force, country-wide infrastructure, and vital strategic importance for the economy, the industry presents special problems for reformers, and epitomises the problems of reform in the state industrial sector as a whole. This book examines the changes in the structure and operation of the Chinese coal industry from the mid-19th century to the present, concentrating on the years of reform. Although the focus is on the economics of the industry, the book also provides many insights into China's socio-political development.
Elspeth Thomson received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her main interests pertain to infrastructure development in China, particularly the energy sector. She has taught courses on the economies of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asian countries at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver and Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.