Natural resources and energy
China is favored by nature, and the deposits of
coal and iron ore are among the richest in the world.
The country is the world's largest producer of coal and
also the leading user. That the government has recently
invested resources in building new coal-fired power
plants is seen as a threat in many parts of the world
against global attempts to stop climate change.
The supply of coal, which is mainly located in the
north, is large and with current extraction, the coal is
expected to last for 250 years. But much of the coal is
of low quality.
Major exports by China with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Zhengsourcing, China is also one of the world's few producers of
tungsten and a number of other rare metals needed in
high-tech industries. Other important natural resources
are gold, bauxite, brownstone, lead, aluminum and tin.
Energy use has increased significantly in line with
economic development and China is today the world's
largest consumer of energy as well as a leading
producer. The need is covered by almost two-thirds of
coal, just under one-fifth of oil and to a lesser extent
of natural gas. The share of renewable energy sources
accounts for about one-sixth of the energy demand and
China is today the country that produces the most
renewable energy. Nuclear power is also being expanded.
Domestic oil is mainly pumped up in northeastern
China, but new oil sources are being sought in the South
China Sea as well as in the inner western parts of the
country. However, the need for oil is high and China
imports a lot of oil from other countries. China also
has natural gas reserves but imports gas from, among
others, Central Asia and Russia.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, CH stands for China. Visit itypeusa for more information about China.
China produces the most hydroelectric power in the
world. A gigantic power plant was started in 1994 at
Three ravines in the Yangtze River. The dam, which was
fully commissioned in 2012, is intended to improve
electricity supply, shipping and irrigation and prevent
the river from flooding. The project has been criticized
for harmful effects on the environment and at least 1.3
million people were forced to move in connection with
The waste of water resources is large and the water
supply is threatened. The authorities have increasingly
been forced to remove the groundwater, whose level has
dropped every year. Another problem is contaminated
water and that many of the rivers in the inland have
been classified as unfit for human use. Deforestation
has led to soil degradation in the north and flooding in
During the 2000s, the central government took
environmental problems more and more seriously. Tighter
environmental laws have been introduced and during the
2010 century China has also taken on a more active role
in global cooperation to counter climate change. But at
the same time, China is the country with the largest
carbon dioxide emissions. China has set a time limit -
in 2030 - for when the country's emissions level will no
longer be allowed to increase and the country's
management has on several occasions stated that it wants
to fight climate change.
The widespread use of coal in both industry and
households as well as in electricity and the growing
automobile pollution pollute the air and cause residents
to die prematurely as a result of respiratory and
cardiovascular diseases. The use of coal in households
should gradually be replaced by natural gas. Air
pollution is another major problem in the big cities,
although the situation improved during the second half
of the 2010, when both the proportion of small particles
that can penetrate the lungs and blood flow decreased by
a quarter between 2015 and 2019 while sulfur dioxide
levels decreased by more than 50 percent during the same
period. period. In order to reduce the hazardous coal
burning, an expansion of nuclear power is also in
progress and new environmentally friendly methods for
coal use are being tested. At the same time, climate
experts are worried that China will start building
several new coal-fired power plants by the end of the
2010s,Foreign policy and defense).
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
2 237 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
3927 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
10 291 927 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
7.5 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
12.4 percent (2015)
New terrorist laws are adopted
New anti-terrorism legislation is being pushed. Among other things, a
national counter-terrorism agency will be created and special anti-terrorist
forces with wide-ranging powers will be set up. The authorities are also given
increased opportunities to monitor the communication between private
individuals. The laws are criticized by international human rights organizations
for being vague and thus also able to be used against political opponents and
Severe air pollution in Beijing
The highest air pollution warning level is issued on December 7 in Beijing.
Emissions are then just under 300 micrograms per cubic meter (the World Health
Organization's (WHO) maximum level from health aspects is 25 micrograms). Urban
residents are urged to stay indoors, schools are closed and restrictions are
placed on car traffic, factories and construction work. A few weeks later
another warning comes.
Protests against arms sales
China is protesting against US decision to sell weapons to Taiwan, including
two warships and advanced weapons systems.
The yuan becomes a reserve currency
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announces that the Chinese currency
yuan will be included in the fund's basket of reserve currencies. Among the
currencies already included are the US dollar, the euro, the British pound and
the Japanese yen.
Human rights activist convicted
Human rights activist Yang Maodong is sentenced to five years in prison. He
has been detained since he organized peaceful protests in January 2013 against
the censorship of the newspaper Södern's weekly newspaper in Guangzhou (see
Continued spiral of violence in Xinjiang
Security forces kill 28 people who are identified as responsible for a
terrorist attack on a coal mine in Xinjiang in September when 16 people were
The presidents of China and Taiwan meet
It is the first time in over 60 years. The Singapore meeting is mainly
symbolic and does not result in any important decisions. From an official point
of view, it is later announced that Beijing and Taipei respectively, prior to
the historic meeting, conducted an exchange of imprisoned spies. Beijing
released two Taiwanese who have been jailed for espionage for nine years while
Taiwan released a Chinese convicted of espionage 16 years ago.
Unlocking the one-child policy
Xinhua State News Agency announces that it will be allowed for couples to
have two children. A law on this will be adopted by the National People's
Congress in March 2016.
Tensions in the South China Sea
China criticizes the United States for allegedly violating China's
territorial waters in the South China Sea. According to Beijing, the intrusion
occurred when the USS Lassen vessel came closer than 12 nautical miles to reefs
and copper in the Spratly archipelago, which China claims as well as the
Philippines, Malaysia and two other Southeast Asian countries. The United States
claims that the ship was on international water and that it carried out an
operation as part of the country's navigation freedom program.
Corruption charges against Hong Kong leaders
Donald Tsang, who was head of government in Hong Kong between 2005 and 2012,
is charged with corruption for failing to report on a luxury apartment in
Many killed in assaults
A terrorist attack on a coal mine in Xinjiang is causing many people to be
killed. According to the US-supported radio channel Radio Free Asia, there are
at least about 50 deaths. Official sources state recently that 16 people have
Xi's first state visit to the United States
President Xi Jinping announces at a joint press conference with US President
Barack Obama that the countries have agreed not to allow cyber espionage against
companies in the other country. In the US, Xi also announces that China will
begin introducing a greenhouse gas emissions trading system in 2017. China will
also assist developing countries with more than US $ 3 billion to reduce their
The central bank lowers the interest rate
Stock prices on the Shanghai Stock Exchange are falling sharply, which leads
to price falls also on stock exchanges in other parts of the world. China's
central bank implements an interest rate cut to stabilize the situation. As a
result, stock market prices are rising again, both in China and abroad.
Prosecution against student leaders in Hong Kong
Three student movement leaders are charged with organizing, or urging others
to participate in, illegal demonstrations during the democracy protests in Hong
Kong in the fall of 2014.
Severe accident at chemical companies
Two explosions in the port city of Tianjin in a chemical warehouse kill
nearly 150 people and injure over 700. Several office buildings in the area are
severely damaged. Toxic chemicals are said to remain in the fire-cured area.
After two weeks, twelve managers are arrested, most of them from the company
that owned the warehouses.
Write-down of the currency
The central bank implements a devaluation, ie a write-down of the value of
the national currency yuan, for three days in a row. At the same time, reports
of falling export revenues are coming.
China gets OS 2022
The International Olympic Committee decides to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics
in the city of Zhangjiakou, 25 kilometers north of Beijing.
Meeting with the President of Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes his first official visit to
Beijing. Tensions between the two countries have increased since Erdogan accused
China of systematically suppressing the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang
province. Turkey has announced plans to buy a multi-billion dollar Chinese
New development bank
The Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) open
their own bank, New Development Bank (NDB), in Shanghai. The new bank will
become an alternative to lending agencies such as the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the Brics countries emphasize that NDB is
not a competitor to these. NDB will lend money to developing countries for
Action against human rights activists
Over a hundred lawyers and activists for freedom of expression and human
rights are arrested at coordinated police councils in various parts of China.
Most are released after questioning but over twenty remain in custody. Many of
those arrested had written on a protest list about a lawyer's disappearance a
few days earlier. The missing lawyer and her colleagues had been accused by the
authorities of being behind a number of conspiracies to disrupt social order.
Stock market decline in China
Concerns about the country's financial markets are increasing. Since
mid-June, the shares in China have lost 30 percent of their average value and
many companies have completely stopped trading in shares. Many shareholders are
small savers who sell their shares in a panic.
Measures for the climate
China plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60-65 percent by 2030,
compared with 2005 levels. The goal is also to increase the use of non-fossil
fuels and that one fifth of energy consumption will come from such energy
sources by 2030. This is part of the country's contribution to reducing climate
change ahead of the Paris climate summit at the end of 2015. China is the
country in the world that emits most carbon dioxide. Investments should
therefore be made on solar and wind power, as well as natural gas.
According to reports from international media, China has almost completed the
construction of a runway on one of the disputed Sprat Islands in the South China
New security laws
The National Congress approves a number of national security laws, which
receive strong criticism from foreign governments as well as foreign companies
and human rights groups. The legislation is vaguely worded and gives the
government the right to take measures to "preserve China's sovereignty". The
intention is that all infrastructure and all information networks should be
"secure and controllable". Both space and cyber space are said in the
legislative text to be part of China's security interests. This is the first
part of three in a larger legislative package.
No to electoral reform in Hong Kong
In a vote in the Legislative Legislative Council (LegCo) in Hong Kong, 28 of
the Council's 70 members voted against the Hong Kong government's planned reform
on how the governor should be elected in the 2017 election (see April
2015). Only eight members voted in favor of the proposal, while a large
number of members who said they supported it had left the premises, reportedly
in an attempt to get the vote postponed. That the proposal, which is supported
by Beijing, would be voted down was already clear before the vote. Three yes
votes were taken to support two-thirds of the LegCo members, which was required
for it to be adopted. Following the vote in LegCo, the election of Hong Kong's
head of government in 2017 is expected to take place in the same way as before,
by a vote within the special electoral committee consisting of 1,200 members. A
few days before the LegCo vote, ten people had been arrested by police,
suspected of planning bomb attacks. The motive behind the planned attack was not
Meeting with Taiwanese party leader
President Xi Jinping meets Eric Chu, chairman of the nationalist party
Kuomintang, which has power in Taiwan. It has been six years since the parties
made such high-level talks.
Proposal for electoral reform in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Government presents a bill in the Legislative Council (LegCo)
on the election of leaders in 2017. The proposal is in line with the guidelines
drawn up by Beijing in the summer of 2014, which led to two months of protests
and street occupation in Hong Kong in the fall. For the first time, general
elections will be held for the post of Hong Kong's head of government, which
means that all Hong Kong residents should be allowed to vote. However, the two
or three candidates they are allowed to vote for must have been selected
beforehand in a vote of the 1200-member electoral committee, where Beijing loyal
members are in the majority. LegCo will vote on the bill this summer.
Journalist is imprisoned
An experienced journalist, Gao Yu, is sentenced to seven years in prison for
sending a secret government document to a foreign media group.
Prosecution against party camp
Zhou Yongkang (see July and December 2014)
is accused of receiving bribes, abuse of power and revealing state secrets. The
trial will take place in Tianjin.
Security meeting with Japan
China and Japan hold a high-level meeting on security issues. It is the first
meeting to be held since 2011. Among other things, we discuss how direct
communication between the countries' military can be improved with regard to the
dispute over islands in the East China Sea.
The People's Congress meets
The National People's Congress holds its annual meeting in Beijing for ten
days. Among other things, the People's Congress gives its support to the
government's planned reduction of the growth target from 7.5 percent to 7
A powerful businessman who is said to have connections to Zhou Yongkang (see
July and December 2014) is executed. Liu Han,
who chaired the Hanlong Business Group in Sichuan Province, has been sentenced
to death for murder and mafia-related crime.
Free trade agreement clear with South Korea
China and South Korea conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement. A
draft agreement has been finalized.
Prohibition on import of ivory
China faces a one-year ban on ivory imports. China is the world's largest
importer of smuggled ivory and the country has long been criticized for
undermining the poaching of African elephants.
Harsh criticism of China
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch publishes its annual report
on the state of the world. According to the report, the state of human rights
has deteriorated under President Xi. The Chinese government and the Communist
Party have been pushing harder for regime critics and the situation is now the
worst in ten years.
Censorship in the education system
Education Minister Yuan Guiren urges the country's universities not to allow
criticism of the regime or the country's political system in education. Books
that promote Western values should not be used.
Record low growth
Economic statistics show that growth in 2014 was the lowest in 24 years - 7.4
Militants are suspected of corruption
The Chinese military announces in a statement that 16 generals are being
investigated for corruption, including the second highest commander of the
Corruption investigation against the Deputy Minister
Ma Jian, the deputy minister of security is being investigated for
corruption, states the Communist Party's body for discipline monitoring.