China Table of Contents
Forests were cleared in China's main agricultural areas centuries ago. Most timber, therefore, comes from northeast China and the less densely populated parts of the northwest and southwest. The yield totaled around 60 million cubic meters in 1985. Bamboo poles and products are grown in the Chang Jiang Valley and in south China, and output reached 230 million poles in 1985. Rubber trees are cultivated in Guangdong Province; output rose steadily from 68,000 tons in 1975 to 190,000 tons in 1985. Other important forestry products include lacquer, tea oilseed, tung oil, pine resin, walnuts, chestnuts, plywood, and fiberboard.
The area covered by forests amounted to some 12 percent of total land area, which officials hoped to increase over the long term to 30 percent. Afforestation campaigns are carried out annually to re-establish forests, plant shelter belts, and set up soil stabilization areas. But because of continued overcutting of forests and low seedling survival rates in newly planted sections, China's forests are in a precarious situation. Better management and increased investment over a long period of time will be required to increase output of valuable forest products.
Data as of July 1987