China’s Mines Lie Eerily Quiet For Olympics

From Sydney Morning Herald:

The neat graffiti on mine workers’ cottages advertises “frozen coffin” services for those who die unexpectedly far from home.

But lately business has been terrible. Routine parts of everyday life in China, like mine disasters, have been put on hold until after the Olympics.

The rabbit warrens of small, privately owned underground iron ore mines at Jianshe village, in Wu’an County, 400 kilometres south of Beijing, are eerily quiet. Only the bosses remain, idly passing the time with their new Toyota Prado 4WDs outside their mine-site homes.

“All of us have been shut down because of Olympic security,” says one boss, who does not want to be named. “Only those with the best

guanxi” — those with the best connections and who can afford to pay the highest bribes — “are quietly, quietly operating”.


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