Coal mining in China's economy and society, 1895-1937


Coal mining in China's economy and society, 1895-1937

Tim Wright

(Cambridge studies in Chinese history, literature and institutions)

Cambridge University Press, 1984

  • : pbk

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Bibliography: p. 226-239

Includes index



This book provides an important contribution to the economic history of modern China. It examines the history of the coal mining industry - one of China's largest and most important - from the beginnings of modernisation around 1895 to the start of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. It addresses questions of both economic and socio-political history and contributes to our knowledge of many aspects of early twentieth-century Chinese history. It examines the slow growth of the modern sector of the Chinese economy and considers the effects of foreign investment and ownership, the supply of capital, the technology of production, the availability of local entrepreneurship and compares the evolution of the Chinese coal industry with development elsewhere. This book will be of interest to those concerned with the problems of industrial growth in general as well as to specialists on modern China.


  • 1. Introduction
  • Part I. The growth of the coal industry: 2. The factors of production
  • 3. Modernisation and dualism: the technology of the production and distribution of Chinese coal
  • 4. The growth and composition of demand
  • 5. The geographical pattern of growth
  • 6. The temporal pattern of growth
  • Part II. Coal mining in Chinese politics and society: 7. Foreign investment in the coal industry
  • 8. Chinese entrepreneurs and the Chinese state
  • 9. The working and living conditions of the Chinese coal miner
  • 10. The labour movement
  • 11. Conclusion: the coal industry in China's modern history
  • Appendices
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index.

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