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International relations

China pivots to old ally Pakistan for coal after Australia spat

Thar field designed for domestic power but might increase Beijing's options

A truck hauls coal out of Pakistan's Tharparkar region, the world's seventh largest coal deposit.    © Reuters

KARACHI -- As tensions grow between China and Australia, the superpower's main coal supplier, work is being stepped up in Pakistan's largest coalfield on a project conceived to feed local power plants, but which some experts believe might provide Beijing with an option for an alternative source of coal. 

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