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China Table of Contents


Building Materials

Large-scale capital construction dramatically increased the demand for building materials. Like the chemical fertilizer industry, cement production featured simultaneous development of small-scale plants and large, modern facilities. Widespread construction of small-scale cement plants began in 1958. By the mid-1970s, these plants existed in 80 percent of China's counties; in 1984 they accounted for a major share of national cement output. These local plants varied widely in size and technology. In 1983 China produced approximately 108 million tons of cement, second in the world to the Soviet Union. In 1984 production increased 14 percent, to 123 million tons and, except for Xizang and Ningxia Hui autonomous regions, every province, autonomous region, and municipality had plants capable of producing 500,000 tons of cement per year.

China's building-materials industry developed rapidly and reached an output value of -Y28.7 billion in 1984. It manufactured over 500 types of products and employed approximately 3.8 million people in 1984. These materials were used in the metallurgy, machinery, electronics, aviation, and national-defense industries, and civil engineering projects. The main production centers for building materials were Beijing, Wuhan, and Harbin.

By the mid-1980s, China was one of the world's primary producers of plate glass, a critical building material. Production in 1984 reached 48.3 million cases, and twenty urban glass factories each produced 500,000 cases annually. Three large glass plants, each having a production capacity of 1.2 million standard cases, were scheduled for completion in 1985 in Luoyang, Qinhuangdao, and Nanning.

Data as of July 1987