I open this chapter with brief surveys of China’s energy contrasting the situation at the time of the Communist assumption of power in 1949, a quarter-century later at the end of Mao’s era, and at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Those who are aware of major milestones along this journey will be reminded of the enormous progress, as well as of many remaining problems characterizing “Half a century of advances” of China’s energetics. The second segment will take a different tack by paying attention to an undeservedly understudied topic. Beyond China’s rich littoral there is still the vast interior where subsistence peasants continue to burn straw and grasses and wood. The overall importance of these inefficient and environmentally damaging practices will be covered in “Continuing importance of traditional energies”.