Tag Archives: Xinhua News Agency

China audits conglomerate amid corruption claim

The Chinese government says an audit of a giant state-owned conglomerate is under way, apparently responding to corruption allegations a Chinese journalist issued against its chairman and other top executives.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday that the agency that supervises state assets said an audit of China Resources Group was under way and that any wrongdoing, if found, would be punished.

A Chinese journalist on Wednesday published a letter online accusing the conglomerate’s chairman and top executives of its subsidiary, China Resources Power, of deliberately overpaying for an acquisition in 2010.

The journalist, Wang Wenzhi, said they were responsible for the loss of several billions of yuan in state assets.

China Resources, which reported a profit of $5.3 billion last year, has denied wrongdoing.

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Biggest Fib Of The Year: China GDP Grows 7.5% In Q2

By Gordon G. Chang, Contributor Moments ago, Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that gross domestic product in the second calendar quarter increased 7.5% from the same period last year, hitting median estimates squarely on the nose.  The announcement confirms China’s growth is slowing but does not fully capture the recent falloff.   What is the real growth figure?  Seeking Alpha thinks it is around 6.7%, but even that figure is high.  Among other factors, the severe contraction of aggregate financing in June, the marked fall in exports in May and June, and the evident shrinkage of the manufacturing sector throughout the quarter all point to an economy growing in the low single digits.  Moreover, it is unlikely that NBS, in releasing the Q2 number, had made proper adjustments to account for two phenomena.  First, Beijing’s official statistics have not been adequately adjusted for inflation, as Standard Chartered’s Stephen Green has pointed out.  Second, fake trade invoicing substantially inflated GDP numbers.  Rampant falsification has resulted in the simply unbelievable report of 14.7% export growth in April, the first month of the just-ended quarter.  Although some say export growth was about 6% then, it seems like it was actually closer to 3%. The most intriguing Q2 indications, however, are the comments of China’s finance minister, Lou Jiwei.  Mr. Lou, speaking in Washington on Thursday, said growth in the first half of 2013 was probably less than 7.7%, “but not too far from it.”  Then he spoke these words: “Our expected GDP growth rate this year is 7%.”  To get to 7% for the entire year after growing 7.7% in Q1 and being “not too far” from 7.7% in Q2, Lou was indirectly telling everyone that China would be expanding at an average of 6.4% in the third and fourth quarters.   Of course, it’s theoretically possible that Lou thinks the economy will fall off the cliff only in the second half of the year, but it is much more likely he knew Q2 growth was far below 7.7% and was preparing everyone for unexpectedly poor performance.  In any event, Beijing immediately censored its finance minister.  Xinhua News Agency, for instance, omitted a striking comment from Lou about the possibility that growth could fall to 6.5% and then erased his 7% forecast for this year, claiming he in fact predicted 7.5%.  The also official—and more authoritative—People’s Daily reported the 7% prediction by carrying another—and more accurate—Xinhua dispatch. What does the utter confusion in official media tell us?  There are two principal points to keep in mind.  First, the differing versions of Lou’s remarks in China’s media suggest there is sharp disagreement among senior leaders over what to do about the economy.  Reformers generally believe—correctly—that reform will decrease growth at first so that the leadership, to allow necessary restructuring to proceed, must de-emphasize gross domestic product as a measuring stick and back off its GDP growth targets.  Lou’s admission of under-target 7% growth signaled, in a subtle way, the leadership was behind reform.  In all probability, those opposed to …read more

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Trapped Vietnamese tourists reach Chinese town

A group of Vietnamese tourists who became trapped by a landslide in northwest China amid weeklong storms that have killed at least 89 people have reached a major town, Chinese state media reported Sunday.

At least 100 tourists, including the 38 Vietnamese, became trapped Friday night in Gansu province after a landslide cut off traffic, the official Xinhua News Agency said. They were en route to a nature reserve in Sichuan province, which has been hit the hardest by the storms, and had reached accommodation by later that night following road repair work to free them.

They finally arrived in the central city of Xi’an on Sunday morning, but have canceled their travel plans, Xinhua said, citing local authorities. A man on duty at the Xi’an city government office said Sunday that he had no information to share. The whereabouts of the remaining tourists was unknown.

Meanwhile, a collapsed dam triggered a flood at a scenic spot in the southern province of Guangxi on Sunday afternoon, killing eight tourists and injuring five others, Xinhua reported. Authorities were searching for an unknown number of missing. It was unclear whether the dam collapsed as a result of the storms.

Sichuan has reported at least 48 storm-related deaths over the past week. A massive mudslide that struck a scenic resort outside the city of Dujiangyan in Sichuan on Wednesday killed 43 people.

Flooding in Sichuan was the worst in 50 years for some areas, with more than 220,000 people forced to evacuate. Mudslides and flooding are common in China’s mountainous areas, killing hundreds of people every year.

In the northwest province of Shaanxi, 26 people died in landslides or house collapses. At least 12 workers were killed in the northern province of Shanxi when a violent rainstorm collapsed an unfinished coal mine workshop. Another three people were drowned in a car in Hebei province outside Beijing.

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Powerful typhoon forces hundreds of thousands of evacuations in China

A powerful typhoon has surged into southeast China, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from a coastal province after passing across northern Taiwan, killing at least two people.

Typhoon Soulik disrupted transportation and commerce across Taiwan, with emergency crews around Taipei struggling to restore power to the 520,000 homes and remove hundreds of trees uprooted by the storm from streets and roads.

The storm then hit the Chinese province of Fujian on Saturday afternoon, packing winds of 119 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour), according to China’s National Meteorological Center, down from the 163 kph (101 mph) winds it carried across Taiwan.

About 300,000 people in Fujian were evacuated from their homes, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

In Fujian and Zhejiang, another coastal province, train services were suspended, flights canceled and fishing boats called back to ports. China’s weather service warned of possible floods and landslides.

Earlier, torrential rains buffeted large areas of northern and central Taiwan, with schools and businesses throughout northern Taiwan were closed by government order on Friday.

A falling brick killed a 50-year-old policeman in the Taipei suburb of Tanshui, while in Miaoli, a 54-year-old women died after falling from her roof. One man in the central city of Taichung was listed as missing after being swept into a raging river.

Throughout Taiwan, the National Fire Agency reported there were at least 104 injuries.

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In China, Landslide Traps Dozens Of Tourists

By The Huffington Post News Editors

BEIJING — At least 100 tourists, including 38 Vietnamese nationals, were trapped in northwest China after a landslide cut off a road amid weeklong storms that have flooded rivers and triggered mudslides, killing at least 69 people, state media reported Saturday.

The tourists got trapped Friday night in the northwest province of Gansu after a landslide cut off traffic, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said. They were en route to a nature reserve in Sichuan province, which has been hit the hardest by the storms, and road repair work was under way in an effort to free them, the report said.

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Weeklong storms in China traps tourists, kill 69

Chinese state media say at least 100 tourists, including 38 Vietnamese nationals, have been trapped in China’s northwest after heavy storms this past week flooded streams and triggered mudslides, killing at least 69 people.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the tourists got trapped Friday night in the northwest province of Gansu.

Xinhua says that in Sichuan province, a massive mudslide outside the city of Dujiangyan has killed 26 people. The province has reported a total of 31 storm-related deaths.

In the northwest province of Shaanxi, 23 people died in landslides or house collapses. At least 12 workers were killed in the northern province of Shanxi when a violent rainstorm collapsed an unfinished coal mine workshop. Another three people were drowned in a car in Hebei province outside the capital.

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Death toll up to 180 after earthquake strikes China's Sichuan region

Rescuers and relief teams struggled to rush supplies into the rural hills of China‘s Sichuan province Sunday after an earthquake left at least 180 people dead and more than 11,000 injured and prompted frightened survivors to spend a night in cars, tents and makeshift shelters.

The earthquake Saturday morning triggered landslides that cut off roads and disrupted phone and power connections in mountainous Lushan county, in Sichuan’s Ya’an city area, which is further south on the same fault line where a devastating quake wreaked widespread damage across the region five years ago.

Hardest hit were villages further up the valleys, where farmers grow rice, vegetables and corn on terraced plots. Rescuers hiked into neighboring Baoxing county after its roads were cut off, reaching it overnight, state media reported. In Longmen village, authorities said nearly all the buildings had been destroyed in a frightening minute-long shaking by the quake.

In the fog-covered town of Shuangli, corn farmer Zheng Xianlan said Sunday that she had rushed from the fields back to her home when the quake struck, and cried when she saw that the roof collapsed. She then spent the night outdoors on a worn sofa using a plastic raincoat for cover.

“We don’t earn much money. We don’t know what we will do now,” said 58-year-old Zheng, her eyes welling with tears. “The government only brought one tent for the whole village so far, but that’s not enough for us.”

Along the main roads, ambulances, fire engines and military trucks piled high with supplies waited in long lines, some turning back to try other routes when roads were impassable. Rescuers were forced to dynamite boulders that had fallen across roads, and rains Saturday night slowed rescue work, state media reported.

At the farming village of Longquan, where all the houses were damaged and some destroyed in the community of about 300 people, rescuers had arrived to collect the bodies of three dead, but had not yet provided other services as of Sunday midday, villagers said. Yang Shanqing, 37, said his father, brother and nephew were killed when their house collapsed.

“Now we don’t have any drinking water or power,” Longquan villager Yang Yiyun, 58, told The Associated Press. “All we can do is wait for the government to come and help us out.”

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had arrived Saturday afternoon by helicopter in Ya’an to direct rescue efforts, the government‘s official Xinhua News Agency reported.

“The current priority is to save lives,” Li said, after visiting hospitals, tents and climbing on a pile of rubble to view the devastation, according to Xinhua.

Xinhua, citing the Sichuan province emergency command center, said at least 180 people were killed and 11,227 injured.

The quake — measured by China‘s earthquake administration at magnitude 7.0 and by the U.S. Geological Survey at 6.6 — struck shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday, when many people were at home, sleeping or having breakfast.

Tens of thousands of people moved into tents or cars, unable to return home or too afraid to go back as aftershocks continued to jolt the

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/LwMAzJUXXdo/

Quake jolts China's Sichuan, killing 56

A powerful earthquake jolted China‘s Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago, leaving at least 56 dead and more than 600 injured and prompting state media to warn of higher casualties.

The quake — measured by China‘s seismological bureau at magnitude-7 and the U.S. Geological Survey at 6.6 — struck the steep hills of Lushan county shortly after 8 a.m. toppling buildings, many of them older brick structures. Tiles fell from roofs and walls collapsed, sending people into the streets in their underwear and wrapped in blankets.

Rescue workers turned a square outside the Lushan’s county hospital into a triage center with medical personnel treating the wounded, according to footage on China Central Television.

Hard-hit parts of the county remained unreachable by road, with phone services cut off, but with some text and Internet services continuing, state media said.

A person whose posts to a micro-blogging account “Qingyi Riverside” on Sina Corp.’s Twitter-like Weibo service carried a Lushan geotag said that many buildings collapsed and that people could spot helicopters hovering above.

Aerial photos released by China‘s military and shown on state television showed individual houses in ruins and some stretches of the county seat and villages flattened into rubble. The roofs of some taller buildings appeared to have slipped off exposing the floors beneath them.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 56 people died. Xu Mengjia, Communist Party secretary for Ya’an, which administers Lushan, told CCTV that more than 600 people were injured.

The quake’s shallow depth, less than 13 kilometers (8 miles), likely magnified the impact and CCTV showed footage from local security cameras shaking. Xinhua said that the quake rattled buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu 115 kilometers (70 miles), to the east. It caused the shutdown of the city’s airport for about an hour before reopening, state media said.

Lushan, where the quake struck, is home to 1.5 million people where the fertile Sichuan plain meets foothills that eventually rise to the Tibetan plateau. The area is near a well-known preserve for pandas, Bifengxia, which Xinhua said was not affected by the quake. Dozens of pandas were moved to Bifengxia from another preserve, Wolong, after its habitat was wrecked by the 2008 quake.

Xinhua reported that more than 2,000

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/NkxN7jbxj1k/

At least 2 killed after earthquake strikes China's Sichuan region

At least two people were killed Saturday when a powerful earthquake jolted China‘s Sichuan province near the same area where a devastating quake struck five years ago, with state media warning the casualty toll could climb sharply.

The government‘s seismological bureau said the quake hit shortly after 8 a.m. in Lushan county in the city of Ya’an, home to China‘s famous pandas.

The news office for the Sichuan provincial government said on its official microblog account that two people were reported killed in Lushan and that two townships had suffered severe damages.

A state-run China News Service, quoting unnamed local media, said more than 100 people may have been killed or hurt in the earthquake.

The seismological bureau initially measured the quake at magnitude-7, while the U.S. Geological Survey recorded it at 6.6-magnitude, powerful enough to cause severe damage. Its depth was shallow, less than 13 kilometers or 8 miles, which could magnify the impact.

The official Xinhua News Agency said that the quake rattled buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu 115 kilometers, or 70 miles, to the east.

There are reports that the airport in Chengdu was closed shortly after the earthquake, and

State-run China Central Television reported the Chengdu airport was temporarily closed, and that delays and flight cancellations were expected.

Social media users who said they were in Lushan county posted photos of collapsed buildings and reported that water and electricity had been cut off.

A man who answered the phone at the Ya’an city government said telecommunications were cut and that medical and rescue teams are on the way to the area.

“I felt the strong quake this morning in my office. All drawers of the desk opened and some stuff on the table fell on the floor,” said the man, who refused to give his name, as is usual with low-ranking Chinese government officials.

The epicenter lies along the same Longmenshan fault where the devastating 7.9-magnitude quake struck in May 2008, leaving more than 90,000 people dead or missing and presumed dead.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/7NNaZYnfhMc/

China's Boston bomb victim family remembers child

The family of a Chinese woman killed in the Boston Marathon bombings says it was her dream to study in the United States, and she fell in love with Boston, where she was a graduate student.

In a statement posted on the website of Boston University, the family of 23-year-old Lu Lingzi expressed their grief and called their child “the joy of our lives.”

The family, from the city of Shenyang in China‘s northeast, initially requested privacy and did not want Lu’s name released in the first hours after she was declared dead in the bombings on Monday that killed two others and injured more than 170 people.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the parents and two other relatives are leaving Beijing on Friday evening for Boston.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/9UT6IMTheGg/

Chinese state news agency denies leader's cab ride

China‘s official Xinhua News Agency has denied a report that President Xi Jinping took a mystery cab ride last month.

Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao, a newspaper with close links to China‘s ruling Communist Party, reported Thursday that Xi took the 26-minute, 8.2-kilometer (5-mile) ride March 1 as claimed by taxi driver Guo Lixin. The report said Xi was accompanied by another passenger.

A Xinhua reporter issued a statement on China‘s Twitter-like website Weibo saying Beijing transport authorities confirmed the trip, but it was swiftly deleted. Xinhua then issued a statement saying further checking showed the report was false.

While Xi has sought to portray himself as in-touch with regular people, Chinese leaders are surrounded by heavy security and it would be highly unusual for him to take public transport.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/0zJHSaacD_g/

Death spotlights abuses in China party graft probe

Yu Qiyi had a promising career in a government investment company when he disappeared on his way home from a business trip March 1. Thirty-eight days later, the bespectacled, boyish-looking engineer died after turning up in a hospital emaciated, with bruises on his arms and thighs, dark welts on his buttocks and scrapes on his feet and shins.

In between, Yu was held by investigators from China‘s ruling Communist Party in secret detention frequently used but not regulated by law. Since his death last week, he’s become a rallying point for reformers who want to do away with a system that is prone to abuse but that Chinese leaders depend on to keep members in line.

Photos of Yu’s body have ricocheted around the Internet, prompting thousands of comments from ordinary Chinese citizens on popular Twitter-like microblogs, as well as from journalist in the state media.

“If power is not locked in the cage of institutions, everyone will find it hard to feel secure. From ordinary citizens to leading cadres, everyone could become a victim,” reporter Chen Yuming of the official Xinhua News Agency posted on the agency’s account last week.

Yu’s family says the injuries are proof that he was beaten, starved and otherwise tortured by investigators in the eastern city of Wenzhou where he lived.

“He was thin like a beggar,” said Wu Qian, his ex-wife with whom he still lived, describing seeing Yu on April 9 in a local hospital. “He was lying there so pitifully. … Anywhere that we could see, there were injuries on his body.”

Wu said in an interview that the hospital’s medical records cited drowning as a potential cause of death. A terse official statement carried by state media said Yu had an unspecified accident while being held by the party’s local inspectors and that he died in the hospital after rescue attempts failed. It said an investigation was underway.

Wenzhou police referred calls to the office of local party investigators, where phones rang unanswered this week. Lines were constantly busy at the city’s propaganda office. The hospital where Yu was sent declined comment.

Yu’s case is drawing attention to a feared tool of communist rule: the detention of party members by internal investigators.

Those being investigated are ordered to appear at a designated time

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/6vD0biF37q0/

Fire spreads to hotel in China, killing 13 people

A fire at an Internet cafe spread to a hotel on the upper floors of a building in central China, killing 13 people and injuring 50 others.

Some of the hotel guests escaped and firefighters rescued others from the building in Xiangyang city in Hubei province. The fire started just after 6:30 a.m. Sunday and was extinguished before 9 a.m., the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said 42 of the hotel’s 50 rooms were occupied.

Two Xiangyang firefighters said the fire started in an Internet cafe on the floor below the hotel in a five-story building. They refused to be identified, as is common with Chinese officials.

One of the firefighters said the Internet cafe was on the second floor and the hotel on the three floors above. He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Footage shown on the state-run China News Service showed smoke billowing out of the hotel’s windows as firefighters sprayed water at the building and one climbed up a rope. A man and a woman were shown awaiting rescue at one window, the man covering his mouth with a cloth. A woman climbed down a ladder, helped by firefighters. Inside the hotel, bedding was blackened, as was a corridor filled with burned debris.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/TpEe7uS7SLI/

11 people killed in fire at hotel in China

A fire at an Internet cafe spread to a hotel on the upper floors of a building in central China, killing 11 people and injuring 50 others.

Some of the hotel guests escaped and firefighters rescued others from the building in Xiangyang city in Hubei province. The fire started just after 6:30 a.m. Sunday and was extinguished before 9 a.m., the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said 42 of the hotel’s 50 rooms were occupied.

Two Xiangyang firefighters said the fire started in an Internet cafe on the floor below the hotel in a five-story building. They refused to be identified, as is common with Chinese officials.

One of the firefighters said the Internet cafe was on the second floor and the hotel on the three floors above. He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Footage shown on the state-run China News Service showed smoke billowing out of the hotel’s windows as firefighters sprayed water at the building and one climbed up a rope. A man and a woman were shown awaiting rescue at one window, the man covering his mouth with a cloth. A woman climbed down a ladder, helped by firefighters. Inside the hotel, bedding was blackened, as was a corridor filled with burned debris.

The firefighters and Xinhua both said 11 people died and 50 were injured. Xinhua said some of the injuries were serious.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/cgEBMhaaLww/

China's ex-train boss charged in bribery case

The ex-railways minister who led the rapid expansion of China‘s bullet train network has been charged with taking bribes and abusing his power in one of China‘s biggest graft investigations.

The official Xinhua News Agency says prosecutors filed charges with a Beijing court in the long-awaited case of Liu Zhijun. The brief report Wednesday says the court has accepted the case and will set a trial date.

Liu was appointed in 2003 and dismissed in February 2011 for unspecified discipline violations. News reports suggested charges against him might include taking kickbacks and bribes, illegally awarding contracts and engaging in sexual liaisons.

Liu led the rapid growth of China‘s bullet train network, which has become the world’s biggest. Following his firing, the government scaled back ambitious expansion plans.

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China Mine Accident: Trapped Miners Rescued After Almost 60 Hours Underground

By The Huffington Post News Editors

BEIJING — Three miners in China have been rescued after spending two and a half days trapped underground because of flooding in a coal mine that killed three of their colleagues.

Xinhua News Agency says the three were lifted to safety from the mine in Guizhou province’s Weng’an county early Monday. They have been hospitalized in stable condition. Three other miners remain missing.

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Trapped China miners rescued after almost 60 hours

Chinese state media say three miners have been rescued after spending two and a half days trapped underground because of flooding in a coal mine that killed three of their colleagues.

Xinhua News Agency says they were lifted to safety from the mine in Guizhou province’s Weng’an county early Monday. They have been hospitalized in stable condition. Three other miners remain missing.

The mine flooded at around 10 p.m. Friday, trapping nine miners. Rescuers on Sunday had been waiting for the water level to recede before entering the shaft.

Xinhua says police have detained eight people in the ongoing investigation.

China‘s mines have long been the world’s deadliest. Safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years, but regulations are often ignored and accidents are still common.

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China opening up disputed islands to tourists

China says it is opening up a disputed island chain with just one hotel to tourism in another step in its battle to demonstrate that the potentially oil-rich territory is Chinese.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday that people will be allowed to go on cruise tours to the islands known as Xisha in China and Paracel elsewhere by next month.

Vietnam also claims the islets, sandbanks and reefs southeast of China‘s Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

Hainan’s executive vice governor Tan Li told a news conference Saturday that tourists will eat and sleep on cruise ships and land on the islands for sightseeing, according to Xinhua.

A Hainan provincial government official who gave only his surname, Zhong, confirmed Tan’s remarks at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference and that local authorities plan to open the islands to tourists before the May Day holiday on May 1. “Detailed information, such as the tourist capacity and travel itinerary, is still not available,” Zhong said.

There is one hotel with 56 rooms on Xisha’s largest island, Yongxing, which is 2.13 square kilometers (0.82 sq. miles) and has no fresh water, said Xinhua. It quoted ship owner Haihang Group Corp. Ltd. as saying a cruise ship that can accommodate 1,965 passengers is ready for sailing, while a second company is building another one.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and its island groups, while Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries claim some areas. The disputes occasionally erupt into open confrontation. The islands amid some of the world’s busiest commercial sea lanes, along with rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas deposits.

Last year China created a city administration on Yongxing to oversee hundreds of thousands of square kilometers (miles) of water where it wants to strengthen its control. Vietnam said then that China‘s actions violated international law. The Philippines, which disputes another island chain further south over which China‘s Sansha city also claims jurisdiction, doesn’t recognize the city.

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Authorities say slim chance of life after Tibet mudslide buries 83

Authorities in Tibet said Sunday that chances were slim that any survivors would be found after a massive mudslide at a gold mine buried 83 workers in piles of earth up to 30 meters deep. Searchers have found 11 bodies and were searching for the remaining missing.

The landslide Friday has spotlighted the extensive mining activities in the mountainous Chinese region of Tibet and sparked questions about whether mining activities have been excessive and destroyed the region’s fragile ecosystem.

The workers were buried when mud, rock and debris swept through the mine in Gyama village in Maizhokunggar county and covered an area measuring around 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles), about 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of the regional capital, Lhasa.

By Sunday afternoon, searchers had found 11 bodies and were searching for the remaining 72 missing workers, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said. Xinhua quoted the Communist Party deputy secretary for Tibet, W. Yingjie, as saying chances were slim of finding anyone alive.

The miners worked for Huatailong Mining Development, a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp., a state-owned enterprise and the country’s largest gold producer. Beijing says the cause of the disaster has yet to be fully investigated, although state media say the mudslide was caused by a “natural disaster,” without giving specifics.

Criticisms over possibly excessive mining in Tibet flashed through China‘s social media Saturday before they were scrubbed off or blocked from public view by censors.

Btan Tundop, a Tibetan resident, noted the Huatailong mine’s dominance in the area in a short-lived microblog: “The entire Maizhokunggar has been taken over by China National Gold Group. Local Tibetans say the county and the village might as well be called Huatailong.”

The Chinese government has been encouraging development of mining and other industries in long-isolated Tibet as a way to promote its economic growth and raise living standards. The region has abundant deposits of copper, chromium, bauxite and other precious minerals and metals, and is one of fast-growing China‘s last frontiers.

Tibet remains among China‘s poorest regions despite producing a large share of its minerals. A key source of anti-Chinese anger is complaints by local residents that they get little of the wealth extracted by government companies, most of which flows to distant Beijing.

Wangchuktseten, a Tibetan scholar at Northwest University of Nationalities in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, said he was most worried about the environment. “The Tibetan plateau is considered the lungs of Asia,” he said. “Those short-sighted mining activities chase after quick benefits but ignore the environment for future generations.”

State media said that two of the buried workers are Tibetans, and that two are women.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang ordered authorities to “spare no efforts” in their rescue work, state media have reported.

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