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In 2004, state-owned industrial enterprises and non-state enterprises with annual turnover exceeding five million yuan achieved industrial added value of 5,480.5 billion yuan and realized profits of 1,134.2 billion yuan, representing 16.7 percent and 36 percent year-on-year rises respectively, and revealing a gratifying simultaneous improvement in speed, quality and benefit. Since 1996, China has led the world in the production of steel, coal, cement, farm-use chemical fertilizer and television sets.

Increase in outputs of major industrial products 

Product Unit 1978 1990 2000 2003 2004
Raw coal  100 million tons  6.18  10.80  9.98  16.67  19.56
Crude oil   10,000 tons 10,405  13,831  16,300  16,960  17,500
Power   100 million kwh 2,566  6,212  13,556  19,106  21,870
Steel 10,000 tons  3,178    6,635  12,850  22,234  27,280
Cement  10,000 tons  6,524  20,971  59,700  86,208  97,000
Automobiles  10,000  14.91  51.40  207.00  444.39  507.4
Large and medium-sized tractors  10,000  11.35  3.94  4.10  4.88  9.83
Color TV sets  10,000  0.38   1,033.04  3,936.00  6,541.40  7,328.80
Chemical fibers  10,000 tons  28.46  165.42  694.00  1,181.15  1,424.50
Yarn      10,000 tons  238.2 462.6  657.0 983.6 1,120.0
Cloth       100 million m 110.3 188.8 277.0 353.5 420.0
Sugar     10,000 tons  227 582 700  1,084  1,018
Sulfuric acid    10,000 tons  661 1,197  2,427  3,371  3,994
Farm-use chem-ical fertilizers       10,000 tons  869.3 1,879.7 3,186.0   3881.3 4,469.5
Ethylene     10,000 tons  38.0  157.2 470.0 611.8  626.6
Integrated circuits 100 million  pieces  0.3    1.1  58.8  148.3 211.5 
Program-controlled  Switchboards       10,000 lines  -- -- 7,136.0 7,379.9 8,464.8
Telephones  10,000     -- --  5,247.9 18,231.4  23,344.6
Micro-electronic computers     10,000 -- 8.2  672.0 3,216.7  4,512.4

Diverse economic elements

Before 1978, state-owned and collectively-owned enterprises represented 77.6 percent and 22.4 percent respectively of China's exclusively public-ownership economy. The policy of reform and opening-up has given extensive scope to the common development of various economic sectors. Individual and private industrial enterprises and enterprises with foreign, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan investments have mushroomed.

Reform of state-owned enterprises has always been the key link of China's economic restructuring. The Chinese government has made various attempts to solve the problem of chronic extensive losses in this sector and by now almost every state-owned enterprise has adopted the company system. After being transformed into joint stock companies, the economic benefit of the state-owned enterprises increased steadily and their overall strength and quality were remarkably enhanced, gaining continuously in their control, influence and lead in the whole national economy. In 2004, of the industrial added value created by all state-owned industrial enterprises and non-state industrial enterprises with annual turnover exceeding five million yuan, state-owned and state stock-holding enterprises accounted for 42.4 percent, collectively-owned enterprises 5.3 percent, the rest taken up by other non-public enterprises, including enterprises with foreign, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan investments, and individual and private enterprises. The result is a dynamic juxtaposition of diversified economic elements.

In 2004, of Chinese enterprises ranking in the world's top 500, 14 enterprises of China's mainland were all state-owned. Of China's own top 500, 74 percent (370) were state-owned and state stock-holding enterprises, with assets of 27, 370 billion yuan and realizing profit of 266.3 billion yuan, representing 96.96 percent and 84.09 percent respectively of the top 500 corresponding values. Small and medium-sized enterprises and non-public enterprises have become China's main job creators. Private enterprises alone provided 50 percent of employment of the entire society.

Machinery manufacturing and automobile industries

China's machinery manufacturing industry can provide complete sets of large advanced equipment, including large gas turbines, large pump storage groups, and nuclear power sets, ultra-high voltage direct-current transmission and transformer equipment, complete sets of large metallurgical, fertilizer and petro-chemical equipment, urban light rail transport equipment, and new papermaking and textile machinery. In 2004, exports of machinery and transportation equipment (mainstay and leading performer in China's export trade since 1996) reached US$ 268.3 billion, 42.8 percent more than in 2003, a growth rate of 9 percentage points higher than that of exports overall.

In the 1990s, the automobile industry developed steadily as a key sector, output nearly quadrupling from 514,000 in 1990 to 2.07 million in 2000. In 2004, output and sales volume of automobiles each surpassed five million, of which 2.314 million being sedans, and 2.327 million were sold. Automobiles, the high-class consumer durable with the lowest rate of ownership, now show the fastest retail growth rate of any commodity in China.

Energy industry

Thermal, hydro and nuclear power industries are the fastest growing of all industrial sectors. At the end of 2004, the installed capacity of generators totaled 440 million kw, and the total generated electricity came to 2,187 billion kwh, ranking second in the world.

Power grid construction has entered its fastest ever development; main power grids now cover all the cities and most rural areas, with 500-kv grids beginning to replace 220-kv grids for inter-province and inter-region transmission and exchange operations. An international advanced control automation system with computers as the mainstay has been universally adopted, and has proved practical. Now China's power industry has entered a new era featuring large generating units, large power plants, large power grids, ultra-high voltage and automation.

Starting in the 1980s, China has invested hugely into creating a number of large-scale modern coalmines, contributing to the gradual increase of coal output, maintained at more than one billion tons annually since 1989. China now has the ability to design, construct, equip, and administer 10-million-ton opencast coalmines and large and medium-sized mining areas. China's coal washing and dressing technologies and abilities have constantly improved and coal liquefaction and underground gasification are being introduced.

Petroleum and natural gas are important energy resources. For eight years running from 1997 to 2004, annual crude oil output exceeded 160 million tons, ranking fifth in the world. Oil industry development has accelerated the growth of local economies and related industries, such as machinery manufacturing, iron and steel industries, transport and communications. In 1996, China's natural gas output surpassed 20 billion cu m, a figure that has increased steadily over the following years, reaching 41.49 billion cu m in 2004.

In 2004, China's nuclear-power-generated electricity topped 50 billion kwh, setting a record high. By 2020, China will build 36-million-kw nuclear power facilities, in addition to the 8.7-million-kw nuclear power generation capacity already in use and under construction.

To relieve the shortage of energy supplies that fetters China's economic growth, China is developing new energy resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal power. Its abundant wind energy resources give China the potential for mass-produced wind power. Between 2001 and 2005, the government invested 1.5 billion yuan in the wind power industry. Some 200,000 small wind generators already play an important power generation role in agricultural and pastoral areas and according to government targets the national installed capacity of wind generators is to increase by one million kw every year, reaching 20 million kw by 2020. Given northern China's rich wind energy resources, its wind power industry has attracted domestic and overseas investment and Asia's largest wind power station, with an investment of 10 billion yuan and a capacity of one million kw, will be completed in Inner Mongolia before 2008. Meanwhile, in western China, with a radiation flux of three thousand kwh per day, solar energy has been widely utilized. Asia's largest demonstration base for solar heating and cooling technologies in Yuzhong County, Gansu Province, has become the training center of applied solar technologies for developing countries. 

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