China's manufacturing sector developed according to the
principle of "walking on two legs," a policy of self-reliance
introduced in the 1950s. In the 1980s one leg consisted of the
state-funded and state-controlled large and medium-sized plants
with the most qualified personnel and the most advanced equipment.
The other leg was
small-scale plants using inferior equipment and large amounts of
local labor. Together, the two sectors produced a wide range of
industrial products. In most cases the larger plants accounted for
the bulk of production, but the smaller enterprises were increasing
their share and producing a significant percentage of cement,
fertilizers, and farm machinery.
Data as of July 1987