The Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences has warned that China is facing a serious shortage of mineral resources and will need to sharply increase imports of such materials to meet demand over the next 20 years.
The Workers’ Daily quotes a report by the academy as saying all of China's mineral resources are in short supply except for coal. The degree of dependence on imports will rise, which is very dangerous to national security.
As all major oil fields in China are close to running dry, the academy estimates that by 2020, China will need to import 70 percent of its crude oil -- or 500 million tons -- and half of its gas requirements, or 100 billion cubic meters.
It is also estimated that within the next 20 years, China will need to buy an extra three billion tons of iron, 500 million tons of copper and 100 million tons of aluminum.
Zinc and tungsten, which China currently exports, will probably have to be imported as well.
(CRI January 13, 2003)