Economy overview: Beginning in late 1978, the Chinese leadership began to transform the stagnant Soviet-style economy into a more market-oriented one. Although this process took place under the tight political control of the Communist Party, the influence of non-state managers and entrepreneurs gradually grew. To achieve this goal, the authorities introduced a system of individual farms in agriculture instead of collective farms, gave more powers to local officials and factory directors, lifted the ban on small business in the service of light industry, and made the economy more open to foreign trade and investment. As a result of these measures, GDP has quadrupled since 1978. In 2000, with a population of 1.26 billion, GDP per capita was $3,600; China’s economy has become the second largest in the world (after the United States). In the 1980s agricultural production doubled; The industry grew just as rapidly, especially in the coastal regions around Hong Kong and across from Taiwan, where foreign investment helped increase the production of goods both for the local market and for the export trade. However, this “hybrid” economy suffered from the worst vices of both socialism (bureaucratization, apathy) and capitalism (chasing profits and rising inflation). Beijing periodically returned to the old methods of government and tightened centralized control. The government tries to (a) collect taxes from all provinces, firms and individuals, (b) fight corruption and other economic crimes, (c) support large state-owned enterprises, many of which suffered from competition and became unable to pay salaries and pensions. Between 80 and 120 million “surplus” rural workers do not have a permanent place of residence and migrate between cities and villages; many of them support themselves by taking temporary low-paid jobs. Popular resistance, changes in central politics, and the loss of credibility of the rural administration are hindering the implementation of China’s birth control program, which is necessary to maintain the standard of living of the population. Another long-term threat to strong growth is environmental destruction, in particular air pollution, soil erosion and steadily falling rainfall – especially in the north of the country. Due to soil erosion and the expansion of industrial zones in China, the area of arable land continues to decrease. The weakening of the world economy in 2001 may hinder the growth of exports. Beijing is attempting to spur growth through infrastructure improvements, such as water management, poverty alleviation, and rural tax reform to eliminate the arbitrary local tax rates imposed on farmers. See businesscarriers.com to know more about China Economics and Business.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $4.5 trillion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 8% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $3,600 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 15%; industry: 50%; services: 35% (2000 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 10% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 2.4%; by the top 10% of families: 30.4% (1998).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 0.4% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 700 million people (1998 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 50%, industry 24%, services 26% (1998).
Unemployment rate: in urban areas approximately 10%; high unemployment and part-time employment in rural areas (1999 est.).
Budget: income: no data; costs: no data.
Economic sectors: iron and steel production, coal mining, mechanical engineering, weapons production, textile and clothing production, oil production, cement production, chemical fertilizer production, footwear industry, toy production, food industry, automotive industry, consumer electronics and telecommunications.
Growth in industrial production: 10% (2000 est.).
Power generation: 1.173 trillion kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 79.82%; hydropower: 18.98%; nuclear fuel: 1.2%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 1.084 trillion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 7.2 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 90 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, sunflower seeds; pork; fish.
Export: $232 billion (free on board, 2000)
Export articles: machinery and equipment; textiles and clothing, shoes, toys and sporting goods; mineral fuel.
Export partners: USA 21%, Hong Kong 18%, Japan 17%, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, UK, Singapore, Taiwan (2000).
Imports: $197 billion (free on board, 2000)
Imports: machinery and equipment, plastic products, chemicals, iron and steel, mineral fuels.
Import partners: Japan 18%, Taiwan 11%, USA 10%, South Korea 10%, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia (2000).
External debt: $162 billion (2000 est.) Recipient of economic assistance: no data.
Donor economic aid:
Currency code: CNY.
Exchange rate: CNY/USD – 8.2776 (January 2001), 8.2785 (2000), 8.2783 (1999), 8.2790 (1998), 8.2898 (1997), 8.3142 (1996); note: effective January 1, 1994, the People’s Bank of China announces an average exchange rate based on the exchange rate prevailing on the previous day in the interbank foreign exchange market.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 135 million (2000 est.).
Mobile cell phones: 65 million (January 2001).
Phone system: local and international communications are becoming more accessible to individuals; an unevenly distributed local system links major cities, industrial centers and many smaller cities; internal: fiber-optic trunk lines were laid for communication between provinces, cellular communication systems were deployed; national satellite system with 55 ground stations; international: satellite earth stations – 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several fiber optic cables to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia and Germany (2000).
Broadcast stations: AM – 369, FM – 259, shortwave -45 (1998).
Radio receivers: 417 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 3,240 (209 of which belong to China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations and 3,000 local urban stations) (1997).
Televisions: 400 million (1997).
Internet country code: cn
Internet service providers: 3 (2000).
Number of users: 22 million (2000).
Transport Railways: total length: 67,524 km (including 5,400 km of local provincial railways); standard gauge: 63,924 km (1.435 m gauge) (13,362 km electrified; 20,250 km dual gauge); narrow gauge: 3,600 km (0.750 m gauge) of local industrial tracks (1998 est.); note: estimated at the beginning of 1999 (taking into account new construction programs) the total length of railways is 68,000 km (1999).
Roads: total length: 1.4 million km; paved: 271,300 km (including at least 16,000 km of motorways); unpaved: 1,128,700 km (1999 est.).
Waterways: 110,000 km (1999).
Pipelines: for crude oil – 9,070 km; for oil products – 560 km; for natural gas – 9,383 km (1998).
Ports and harbors: Dalian, Qinghuangdao, Lianyun-gan, Nanjen, Nantong, Ningbo, Xiamen, Xianggang, Tianjin, Fuzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Huangpu, Qingdao, Zhanjiang, Shanghai, Shantou, Yantai.
Merchant navy: in total: 1,745 ships (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 16,533,521 gross register tons / 24,746,859 long tons of gross tonnage; different types of ships: barges – 2, bulk carriers – 324, cargo ships – 825, chemical tankers – 21, combined bulk carriers – 11, combined ore and oil carriers – 1, container ships – 132, liquefied gas carriers – 24, multifunctional heavy cargo ships – 5, passenger ships – 7, cargo-passenger ships – 45, oil tankers – 258, refrigerated ships – 22, ferries – 23, coastal passenger ships – 41, specialized tankers – 3, transport cargo ships – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 489 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 324; over 3,047 m: 27; from 2438 to 3047 m: 88; from 1524 to 2437 m: 147; from 914 to 1523 m:30; less than 914 m: 32 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 165; over 3,047 m: 1; from 2438 to 3047 m: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 29; from 914 to 1523 m:56; less than 914 m: 78 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which includes the ground forces, navy (including marines and naval aviation), Air Force, Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile troops), People’s Armed Police (internal security troops, nominally subordinate to the Ministry of public security, but incorporated by China into the armed forces; it is assumed that in wartime the People’s Armed Police will join the PLA).
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 366,306,353 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 200,886,946 (2001 est.).
The number of persons annually reaching military age: men: 10,089,458 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $12.608 billion (1999) note – Western analysts believe that China’s real defense spending is several times higher than the official figure, as significant amounts are hidden in other spending items.
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.2% (1999).
International issues International disputes: border dispute with India; despite an agreement reached in 1997, the dispute with Russia over at least two small sections of the border remains unresolved; several sections of the border with Tajikistan are not defined; 33 km of the border with North Korea in the mountainous region of Pektusan is not defined; China is involved in an intricate dispute over the ownership of the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, the Philippine Islands, Taiwan, Vietnam (possibly Brunei’s participation in the dispute); the maritime boundary agreement with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin is awaiting ratification; The Paracel Islands are occupied by China but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan lay claim to the Japanese-ruled Senkaku Islands.
Illicit drugs: main transit point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; drug use is on the rise in the country; there is the production of chemicals needed for the manufacture of drugs, and methamphetamines for shipments abroad.