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