China’s Urbanization and the World Economy

China’s Urbanization and the World Economy

Fan Zhang

This innovative book places China’s urbanization within a broader global context, including a detailed estimate of China’s total domestic market and its impact on the world economy.

Chapter 11: Raw materials and capital goods

Fan Zhang

Subjects: asian studies, asian geography, asian urban and regional studies, economics and finance, international economics, urban economics, law - academic, asian law, urban and regional studies, urban economics


China's urbanization has created a huge demand for raw materials and capital goods. This demand has been largely due to government-led urbanization, in which the local governments played an important role. The campaign of city construction needs steel, cement, glass and much more. China's imports of base metals have been increasing dramatically since 2000 and China has become the world's largest raw material consumer. China's demand for raw materials is reshaping world commodity markets. Roughly estimated, China consumes 25 percent of the world's steel, 40 percent of the world's cement, and 35 percent of the world's coal (Tong 2011, p.109). The total value of imports increased dramatically from 1990 to 2011, for both primary goods and manufactured goods, as shown in Figure 11.1.

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