Of course, nothing is black and white in the world, or, as we used to always say, everything has two sides. One reason China has changed from a coal exporter to a coal importer is that their coal is mostly high-sulphur, the wrong kind to burn if you want to reduce climate change and polluting emissions. So China is importing low-sulphur coal as part of their overall strategy to reduce the most harmful emissions.
At the same time that they are building coal-fired power plants at a fast pace, China has also accelerated the building of wind and nuclear energy generation facilities. They have overtaken the U.S. in wind energy production and will soon be the world's leader in nuclear energy production. But coal-fired generation remains the staple for generation of electricity in the rapidly expanding Chinese economy.
As the old Chinese saying goes: may you live in interesting times.