Special Report

Mapping China’s
pictures of growth

by David Murphy / May 14, 2018


CLSA’s China research is unparalleled. In the lead up to the 23rd CLSA China Forum, our award-winning analysts have published a number of compelling reports on the industries and trends shaping China’s economy and moving its market.

Special Report

Mapping China

By David Murphy / Apr 2018

This map book is our modest attempt to bring some of China’s ongoing “miracle” of infrastructure and energy supply onto the printed page. With 35 separate themes covered, it serves as a striking reminder of how far China has built out the mainframe of what is, in so many respects, a thoroughly modern economy. If the scale of the task accomplished is without parallel, the speed with which it was all put together is astonishing.

In the last 10 years, the country has gone from 700km of high-speed rail to more than 25,000km and has doubled the length of oil pipelines to 50,000km. The length of expressways will increase to 150,000km by 2020, up from just 16,000km at the start of the last decade. International comparisons only serve to flatter further. Take just one: rail passenger numbers. China’s high-speed rail traffic accounted for 18.7% of the world total in 2010, just over five years later in 2016 that figure had jumped to 65%.

And it’s not just about building roads, rail, pipelines, ports and bridges. The buildout of green energy infrastructure is impressive in its own right, but it is also producing policy and technical initiatives that are changing the country’s energy base. On the policy side, a belated but nonetheless rapid embrace of clean air policies has already given China the largest installed power base for solar and wind energy. And, partly as a result of the need for cleaner skies in major cities, the country has become a global leader in ultra-high voltage (UHV) transmission. Responses to rapid urbanisation are launching a policy called “new urbanism” aimed at better integrating the country’s major city clusters.

While the economy and policy are shifting focus to what are often badly lagging aspects of soft infrastructure such as the health system, environment and retirement services; hard infrastructure will remain a driver of China’s economy for a long time. With about 59% of the country residing in cities, the authorities must proceed at a steady clip to hit the target of 70% urbanisation by the end of the next decade. That means they’ll build a fair bit more of all the exciting stuff that’s contained within these pages.

Click here to access to the minisite of this report.

Notices And Policies