Industry in Every County

Source: PEKING REVIEW Vol.1 No.4, March 25, 1958

Transcribed for

During the past few weeks national and local dailies in China have carried lots of news about the expansion of industries in the localities and their plans for further development. Many of the provinces, municipalities and special administrative regions, which hitherto devoted their main attention to farming, have announced plans to increase the output value of industry in their respective localities so that it will catch up with, and overtake, that of agriculture in six or seven years and, in some instances, in less time.

Kansu Province in north-west China, an industrially backward province, opened 300 new factories and mines in two and a half months’ time and plans to build another 3,000 this year. This is indicative of the tempo of industrial expansion in the localities today.

Rural China is not what it used to be. It is getting rid of its technical backwardness. The peasant is no longer satisfied with the crude, old tools and wants the products of modern industry. There is a pressure from the peasants for better tools and fertilizer. The policy of integrating the development of major, medium and minor industrial projects throughout the country was designed to meet this demand. The localities are developing medium and minor industrial projects to keep step with the advances of agriculture. The slogan today is “every county must develop its own industries.” And the Chinese newspapers are now fond of saying: “Let the flowers of industry bloom everywhere."

To help the localities develop their industries and, in doing so, exploit local resources to the full, the industrial ministries of the Central People’s Government are drafting 132 model designs for factories and mines, all of which are expected to be completed soon.

These designs are intended mainly for counties, or areas somewhat larger or smaller. The Ministry of Chemical Industry, for example, has worked out a model design (see illustration) for chemical fertilizer plants to be built in the counties. This type of chemical fertilizer plant occupies a small area, takes only 5 or 6 months to build, costs only 3.5 million yuan (including outlay for a small-sized power station), uses local materials and is easy to operate. It can produce 8,000 tons of chemical fertilizers a year. If half of China’s counties build chemical fertilizer plants of this size, it will mean a total output of 8 million tons of fertilizers, as against less than a million at present.

Food industries are also being pushed ahead. In the next five years, tens of thousands of food-processing factories will be built. Most of them will be of medium and minor size and will be set up directly in the food-producing localities.

In the development of local industries today, the emphasis is for every county to map out its plans — and put them into action — and for the secretaries of Communist Party organizations at the county level and above to “guide industry with one hand and agriculture with the oilier,” instead of using “both hands” to tackle agriculture, as was the case before.

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