Peter J. Golas:
Mining Technology in Late Imperial China:
Accomplishments and Limitations
This article provides an overview of the Chinese mining industry, focussing on developments in pre-modern China. Following some introductory remarks about the country's economic development between the 17th and 19th century, it first explains the deposit situation in China. The article then goes on to look at developments in mining technology and how they must be seen when it comes to assessing the character of the industry's relative modernity or backwardness, particularly in comparison to Europe. Finally, it discusses labour structures and industrial relations between Chinese miners, mine owners and government officials. The author does not see himself primarily as a mining specialist but rather as a historian with a keen interest in China and Chinese technology and especially mining technology. The article's main objective is to use mining as way of providing information on China and also show what was so Chinese about Chinese mining.