China Industry and Manufacturing

By | February 15, 2024

Pre-revolutionary China was a semi-feudal country with a non-nationalized economic system and underdeveloped industry. In the short period after 1949, industrialization was carried out in the republic, the products of the manufacturing industry were increased many times, and its field structures were expanded.


In recent years, the power of China’s coal mining industry has increased significantly. Potential coal reserves 3200 bln. tons, and those studied are only 850 billion. tons. The reserves are unevenly distributed, about 80% of which is in North and Northwest China, and the largest deposit in the country is located near the city of Datun (Shansi Province). In total, there are more than 100 large coal mining centers in the country.


According to allcountrylist, the fuel and energy sector of production is considered one of the weak points of the Chinese industrial complex. Despite the presence of abundant natural resources, the development of the extractive areas generally lags behind the processing. China’s dependence on foreign sources in the field of energy is constantly increasing. Currently, the share of imported oil in the volume of all oil used in China is about 32%, and if this growth rate is maintained, it may double by 2010. China, which tried to take its place in the Middle East market, looked back and saw that this market was already almost completely occupied by the United States, Japan and European countries. Under such conditions, China has been forced to absorb a small number of free “risky” markets that have not yet been captured or that no one is interested in, and to offer products to the market that no one else has. In 1990, China’s exports to the Middle East countries amounted to 1.5 billion. was US dollars. At the same time, 50,000 Chinese workers and servants worked mainly in construction in the countries of this region. In 1994, the trade turnover between China and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf was 2.26 billion. was US dollars.

China’s three main state-owned companies – CNPC, CNOOC and Petrochina – operate in the foreign energy market, and in recent years they have significantly increased their activities in oil exploration and production in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Australia, Indonesia, Russia and Azerbaijan.. The expansion of their activities is primarily due to the decrease in the volume of energy carrier production in China itself.


China has a solid base for the development of the metallurgical industry, as it has large reserves of raw materials. As a result of the large-scale geological works conducted in recent years, new deposits of iron and magnesium ores, coal, oil and other types of raw materials have been identified and the limits of the old ones have been clarified. In terms of iron ore reserves, China ranks third in the world (after Russia and Belgium), and in terms of explored magnesium ore reserves, China ranks second.

In total, there are more than 1.5 thousand ferrous metallurgical enterprises, and they are spread over almost all provinces and autonomous regions. At the same time, the general technical level of the metallurgical industry is not high, and the supply of leading enterprises with modern types of equipment is carried out partially and at the expense of imports. More than 70% of enterprises in this field do not have cleaning facilities at all. In China, they melt more than a thousand types of steel, including heat-resistant alloys for the aviation industry, highly doped alloys for nuclear particle accelerators, and pre-characterized alloys. In addition, antimony, tin, tungsten, mercury and molybdenum concentrates are also produced in the country, which are in high demand in foreign markets. However, the country’s aluminum, lead and zinc needs are not fully met, and China has to import these metals.

Mechanical engineering

In the second half of the 70s, China’s transition to economic modernization and huge economic changes coincided with the development of the second Scientific and Technical Progress (STT) in the world. Its main directions were microelectronics, informatics, biotechnology. Adapting to ETT’s innovations has not been easy for China. Limited financial resources, relatively low scientific potential (weakened mainly during the cultural revolution), relatively low educational and cultural level of the population – all this hindered the development of a large-scale scientific and technical revolution. However, in the late 1970s, an eight-year plan for the development of science for 1978-1985 was developed and adopted in China, which called for large-scale research and development in the field of microelectronics, new generation EHM, as well as informatics, genetic engineering, as well as meant major technical changes in agriculture. It soon became clear that this plan was too broad and, for a number of reasons, unfeasible under the current circumstances.

Numerous deliberations and consultations, a fundamental study of the experience of science and technology development abroad, including the USA, Japan, Russia and Western European countries, made it possible to distinguish 12 main directions of science and technology development, which form the basis of the State plan for 1986-2000. Today, the main tasks of the development of scientific technology in China are defined as follows:

  • – the rise of the national economy;
  • – increase in the level of production forces;
  • – turning scientific and technical progress into an important factor of industrial development;
  • – increasing the technical level of traditional industries by any means;
  • – increase in the efficiency of public production;
  • – release of quality, competitive goods for the world market.

It was decided to direct efforts to the development of scientific techniques and technologies in seven priority areas. Among them: biotechnology, informatics, automation, energy, space and laser technology, that is, the names of the main directions of ETT are listed.

Research and studies in the field of biotechnology are focused on the rapid increase of food resources, prevention and treatment of serious diseases, recovery of old energy sources and adoption of new ones, development of waste-free production and reduction of harmful impact on the environment.

In the field of information technology, the main attention is devoted to the creation of technologies that ensure the significant improvement and widespread use of EHM “intelligent” systems. Modern measurement, calculation and communication techniques; research is being conducted in the field of mineral prospecting and improvement of prospecting data, weather forecasting, quality control, agricultural, forestry and industrial product pollution degree processing techniques.

An important role in the implementation of the adopted plan is given to the program “Fakel”, which envisages the creation of districts and centers for the development of new technical and scientific technologies throughout the country. These are specially designated districts of large science and industrial centers with an area of ​​several square kilometers, in their territory are located Scientific Research Institutes, relevant industrial enterprises, companies and firms for the adoption and application of new technical and scientific technologies. After the adoption of the program (August 1990), such districts were established in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Wuhan, Nanjing (more than 30 districts).


Although the chemical industry is provided with a domestic raw material base, it does not fully meet the country’s needs. The production of polymers is relatively new, but it is developing rapidly. Chemical fiber production (second in the world after the United States) supplies the textile industry on a huge scale and is mainly presented in the coastal provinces (Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Lanzhou). Both synthetic and natural rubber are obtained in the PRC. The pharmaceutical industry has reached a huge scale. 50% of all pharmaceutical products produced in the country are concentrated in Shanghai.

Light and food industry

By far the leading light industries in China are textiles and food, which account for 21% of all manufactured industrial products. The enterprises of this field are mainly located in the Western, Northern, Central-Southern regions. In the north-east of the country, paper, sugar and oil-dairy industry enterprises are concentrated, in the north-west cotton processing and livestock products enterprises are concentrated, and in the south-west the food industry is more developed. In general, the food industry has more than 65,500 enterprises, in addition, there are more than 23,300 textile industry enterprises in the country, but the production and processing of raw materials is focused on: in the north – wool, hemp, in the south – silk, jute, hemp. Light industry has a long tradition in China. Even before the revolution, it played a leading role in the Chinese economy.


In 1949, the share of agriculture in China’s public production and national income structure was about 70%. Although the importance of agriculture decreased relatively in the years of development after the revolution, it remained as the main area of ​​the economy. It is the main supplier of raw materials for light industry (70%). The number of employed people in rural areas is 313 million. 850 mln. with family members. people, which is 6 times more than Russia, Japan, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Mexico taken together. China is considered one of the giants in the world in terms of agricultural production. The permanent lack of arable land becomes the main feature of agriculture. 320 mln. 224 mln. from the plowed area ha. can be used, at the same time, the area of ​​arable land is about 110 mln. ha, which is 7% of the world’s arable land. According to the Chinese classification, only 21% of the land is highly productive. These are China’s Northeast Plains, the middle and lower Yangtze River Basin, the Zhujiang River Delta, and the Sichuan Basin. They are distinguished by their fertile conditions for crop cultivation, which allow harvesting twice a year, and in the far south of China three times a year.

The country’s agriculture is traditionally characterized by crop farming, first of all grain farming, grain makes up 3% of the country’s food ration, and the main food crops are rice, wheat, corn, sorghum, millet, tubers and soybeans.

Technical plants

About 20% of the arable land is planted with rice, which accounts for about half of the grain harvest in the country. The main rice-growing regions are located downstream of the Xuanhe River. In the centuries-long history of rice cultivation, more than 10,000 varieties of rice have been cultivated in China. Wheat is the second most important grain crop in the country, it started to spread from VI-VII centuries. Currently, no other country harvests as high a wheat crop as China, and in addition, large quantities of sweet potatoes (batat) are cultivated. With the conditions in China, the cultivation of technical crops is of great importance. As a result of the established price structure, their production is more profitable than wheat, cotton, fruits and vegetables, although, for example, China ranks third in the world for cotton cultivation. In addition, the cultivation of oilseeds is widespread, which is the main source of edible oils. The main ones are groundnut, rapeseed and sesame cultivated in Shandong province. China does not lag behind in the production of tea, which began to be used as a medicine in the 4th century AD, and became a universally accepted drink in the 6th century. Until now, the majority of green and red tea types (there is no concept of “black tea” in China) are almost exclusively exported. Tea is cultivated in Zhejiang, Hunan, and Anhui provinces.


The high population density and the intensive use of the land fund are manifested above all in the development of cattle breeding, which has a very small role. Historically, two types of livestock farming have been formed in China. One of them is closely related to agriculture and has an auxiliary character; In the plain regions where agriculture is spread, mainly pigs, heavy animals and poultry are kept. Extensive, nomadic and semi-nomadic cattle breeding is characteristic of the western regions. In particular, the production and consumption of livestock products per capita is low. Pig farming, which was known in China as far back as BC, was relatively developed; it accounts for 90% of the produced meat. A characteristic feature of animal husbandry in China is a high share of working animals and poor development of dairy cattle.


Until 1949, transport links were very poor in China. About 60% of cargo transportation was carried out by conca with the help of pack animals, rickshaws. The first railway with a length of 10 km was built in 1881 in Xebei province.

Currently, China has a developed transportation system, which includes railways and highways, pipelines, sea and river transportation, and civil airlines. In 1949, the total length of China’s railways reached 22,000 km, and only 11,000 km of tracks were in use. Currently, the length of China’s railways in use has exceeded 70,000 km. Today, China ranks fifth in the world in terms of railway transportation.

China Industry and Manufacturing