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Geopolitics

The Dark Truths Inside China's Dying Coal Industry

Coal miners have lived off the industry for generations. Though China is still the world's top coal producer, plans for clean energy spell the end of the mining life for many.

In a coal mine in Anhui province, China
In a coal mine in Anhui province, China
Frédéric Schaeffer

DATONG — "It's the end of a story," sighs Chen Yixian.

The slender 56-year-old wears a permanent smile, but it can hardly conceal his despair as he watches bulldozers and trucks laboriously pushing their loads in the distance. In this huge open-pit mine at Sandu, 400 kilometers southwest of Beijing, all color seems to have disappeared. Coal is everywhere, the mountain excavated a little more each day. The intermittent palisades cannot prevent the thick black dust from invading the surrounding roads and villages. Mining activity in the province of Shanxi is visible for miles around: not only the pervasive dark dust, but also the smell of sulfur that permeates the atmosphere.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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