China Market Guide

Basic Industries and Infrastructure of China

I. Energy Industry

China is the largest coal producer and the second largest electricity producer in the world. So far, it has preliminarily formed an energy production system which takes coal as the mainstay and in which various forms of energy supplement one another. In 2001, China's energy production totaled 1.17 billion tons standard coal, up by 8.4 percent over the previous year.

1. Coal industry
China's coal resources are estimated at 5,059.2 billion tons, with enormous reserves and high quality. Its coal mines have reserves verified at 972.4 billion tons, one third of which are coking coal. There are many coal fields, but relatively concentrated in north, northwest, northeast and east China, as well as some areas in southwest China. The vast area south of the Yangtze River is deficient in coal resources. In 2001, China's raw coal production totaled 1.11 billion tons, up by 10.9 percent over the previous year.

2. Power industry
In 2001, the power industry as a whole generated 1,478 billion kwh. China ranked second in the world in terms of both power generating capacity and electricity output.

China's power resources are not distributed evenly. The vast central and western region is rich in hydropower resources and has large coal reserves, whereas economically developed eastern coastal region is relatively deficient in energy resources. For a considerably long time to come, China will accelerate energy development and construction of energy production centers in the central and western region, propel abundant power supply from the central and western region to the eastern region, and connect all of its power grids as soon as possible.

3. Petroleum industry
In 2001, China's on-shore oil industry pumped out a total of 165 million tons of crude oil.

Its on-shore oilfields are primarily concentrated in the eastern part, such as Daqing, Shengli, Liaohe, Central China, Jilin, Dagang and Jianghan, whose crude oil production constitutes the lion's share of China's total. Western oilfields such as Xinjiang, Tarim, Tulufan and Hami, Changqing and Qinghai are being developed and built. In recent years, with constant development, offshore oilfields have reported rapid growth of crude oil production. Apart from the fact that major oilfields pump out natural gas, China's natural gas is primarily produced in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia, the Tarim Basin and the Jungar Basin, as well as by offshore gas fields.

Since China's economy has been growing rapidly, its domestically-produced crude oil cannot fully meet its needs. So, since the beginning of the mid-1990s, China has had to import some crude oil each year.

II. Transportation

In 2001, China's passenger turnover totaled 1,300 billion persons-km and its cargo turnover, 4,630.4 billion tons-km.

1. Railway transport
Railways have always played a leading role in China's comprehensive transportation system. By the end of 2000, the mileage of China's railways open to traffic had reached 58,700 km, with double-tracking railway totaling 21.6 thousand km. To date, a railway network has covered all parts of China, with the exception of Tibet.

By the end of 2001, more than 15,000 kilometers of electric railway has been constructed in China, constituting 24% of the country's railway business mileage and undertaking over one-fourth of the total railway traffic. In terms of the total mileage of electric railway, China ranks the third in the world behind Russia and Germany.

At present, more than 80% of the country's freight transports are raw materials and staple materials, including coal, iron and steel and nonferrous metals, metals and non-metallic ore, building materials and grain, with coal transport exceeding 40%. Every day more than 1,000 pairs of passenger trains are dispatched.

At present, China is speeding up construction and upgrading of trunk lines, with emphasis placed on the central and western region. Special efforts will be made to solve the problem of insufficient transport capacity in northeastern China, and further improve the modernization level of equipment on trunk lines.

2. Highway transport
By the end of 2001, the mileage of China's highways open to traffic had reached 1.698 million km, with expressways totaling 19,437 km. Now 98.3% of towns and townships and 90.1% of villages all over the country have access to roads. Areas with no access to transport service is virtually non-existent. High-grade highways have formed networks in developed areas preliminarily.

Highway transport plays a significant role in China's transport sector, especially in passenger transport.

In China's national highway network, the trunk national route system composed primarily of high-grade roads for motor vehicles constitutes the major framework. Trunk national routes link the nation's capital of Beijing and other municipalities directly under the central government and the capitals of various provinces (autonomous regions), as well as all exceedingly large cities with a population of more than one million and the overwhelming majority of cities with a population of over half a million.

3. Waterway transport
Waterway transport holds an extremely important position in China's cargo transports.
Waterway transport is concentrated in coastal areas in eastern China and in south China.

(1) Inland river transport
By the end of 2001, the mileage of the country's inland rivers had reached 122 thousand km, with channels capable of accommodating ships of 1,000 DWT accounting for 8,000 km. Inland river harbors had a total of 29,723 wharves and berths. China's inland rivers enjoy an enormous shipping potential. Holding a leading position in inland river shipping are the shipping routes on the Yangtze, Pearl, Heilongjiang and Huaihe rivers, as well as the Jinghang (Beijing-Hangzhou) Grand Canal shipping route.

(2) Ocean transport
Ocean transport holds a dominant position in the country's waterway transport, with the ocean cargo turnover making up roughly 70% of the waterway transport cargo turnover. At least 85% of China's foreign trade goods rely on ocean transport. In 2001, the amount of China's sea freight transport in foreign trade stood at 660 million tons.

China has more than 60 ports along the coasts. The number of the berths for working at the end of 2001 reached 3,718, and 518 deep water berths among them are able to accommodate 10,000 ton boats. Major coastal ports handled 1.45 billion tons. The order of chief ports with an annual handling capacity of over 50 million tons is as the following: Shanghai, Ninbo, Guangzhou, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin, Dalian and Qingdao.

In 2001, the handling capacity of the container ports registered 27.48 million TEU, Among these, 24.7 million TEU has been accomplished by the coastal ports, eight of which are capable of handling containers of over 1 million TEU.

China's chief ports along the coasts are usually linked with the hinterland through high grade roads or trunk railways, forming basically an international container system consisting of ocean transport, port loading and unloading, and inland transport (water, road and railway).

So far, China has opened navigation with 1,100 ports in 150 countries and regions in the world. In 1999, each month there were 2,973 ships leaving Chinese ports and there were 544 monthly voyages sailing across the ocean. Beginning from 1989, China has been successively elected Class A Council Country in the International Maritime Organization.

4. Civil aviation transport
At the end of 2000, China had 143 airports open to traffic, 1,115 regular air routes( including 987 international air routes ) with a total length of 222.96 million km, and 132 civil cities(Hong Kong and Macao are exclude) with access to air service. Its international air routes reach 60 cities in 34 countries and regions.

In 2000, Chinese airports handled 133.69 million passengers. Among them, the Capital Airport in Beijing, the Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou and the Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai accounted for 34.87% of the total passenger handling capacity. Chinese airports handled a total of 3.99 million tons of mails. Among them, the Capital Airport in Beijing, the Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou and the Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai accounted for 47.05% of the total. III. Telecommunications Industry

China's telecommunications industry has developed rapidly. In 2001, the total capacity of bureau telephone switchboard comprised 200 million telephones, and the network scale ranked second place in the world. In the state public service telecommunications networks, optical cable totaled 1 million km, linking all the provincial capitals.

In 2001, China's local telephone subscribers totaled 179 million, and mobile phone subscribers totaled 144.80 million. There were 26 telephones per 100 population in China, Subscribers to CHINANET services reached 30 million (excluding users of China science network and education network). IV. Post Telecommunications In 2000, the number of China's post office reached 70,900. By 2000, China had direct post relations with more than 150 countries and regions, and its international mails and parcels can reach many parts of the world. Today more than 100 countries and regions have set up international express mail service with China, and international post remittance from China can reach more than 20 countries and regions.