While the USA has been dashing to natural gas and renewable energy since 2000, China has been consuming growing and huge amounts of coal. Chinese coal demand has been so strong that the world's consumption of coal has jumped from 5.3 billion tons in 2000 to 8.1 billion tons in 2011. Again nearly all of that growth is a result of exploding Chinese coal demand. See table below from linked to story.
Measured anyway China's reliance on coal is astonishing. While the USA largely runs on oil and natural gas that together provide about 60% of our total energy, China is powered by coal. Coal alone provides approximately 70% of China's total energy but just 19% of US energy.
Indeed, Chinese coal consumption is an astonishing 47% of the entire world's consumption.
By comparison, US coal consumption is approximately 11% of the world's 8.1 billion tons.
On a per capita basis, Americans and Chinese use roughly equal amounts of coal, but China's coal usage continues to climb, while America's has been falling.
Shale gas is a fundamental reason why coal consumption in the US has been falling but skyrocketing in China, more than doubling in 10 years. Shale gas has boomed in the USA but not to date in China. And I am skeptical that China's hunger for coal will diminish without natural gas to take its place.