Newswire from AWN
As we enter the freezing cold months of the year, many New Yorkers are still without power after one of the most intense storms that the area has ever seen. While we’ve all dealt with the aftermath of the storm and deal with the recovery efforts, the big question is, what does this storm mean for Chinese President Xi Jinping? What does it mean for the relationship between China and the United States?
Not only does this storm remind us of the power of Mother Nature but it also serves as a reminder that China is still a growing nation. Over the past 20 years, China has experienced rapid economic growth and has come out the other side as one of the world’s biggest economies. With the world’s second largest economy, China also has power to influence economies around the world, including America.
One of the biggest drivers of China’s booming economy is its booming coal industry. Just last year China surpassed the United States as the biggest importer of coal. And it’s clear that what China consumes is far greater than what it produces, and what China consumes is responsible for nearly 60% of the growth in the global coal market.
China’s growth comes at a high cost: It’s air pollution is a real problem for the cities it’s located in. However, China doesn’t appear to be willing to commit to ending its coal industry. In its five-year plan, Chinese officials said they would not eliminate coal entirely, but would focus on phasing it out more gradually. In addition, China said that despite its commitment, it would continue to modernize its coal plants to make them better and more energy efficient.
We need to remember that China accounts for nearly 70% of global coal consumption. And while the idea of the world’s biggest consumer not fully embracing the idea of phasing out coal is concerning, the potential for this disruption to the coal industry is also very real. It could really disrupt how we look at China and see it as a big power to be reckoned with in the world, not just as the biggest producer of coal.