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China: growth, urbanisation and mineral resource demand


  • Jin Liu

    (Treasury, Government of Australia)

  • Tony McDonald

    (Treasury, Government of Australia)


Over recent decades, China has experienced rapid economic growth and a related sharp increase in its rate of urbanisation. The speed of this transition, along with the sheer size of China’s population, has resulted in China being an increasingly significant driver of global growth and mineral resource demand over the past decade.This paper analyses trends in China’s growth, urbanisation and mineral resource demand. It compares China’s experience in recent decades with that of other Asian emerging economies over the past half-century. It also seeks to put the recent surge in Chinese growth and urbanisation in a longer-term perspective.It concludes that, since the convergence of China’s level of economic activity and urbanisation with those of more developed countries is far from complete, China will continue to be a major source of demand for mineral resources for some time to come.

Suggested Citation

  • Jin Liu & Tony McDonald, 2010. "China: growth, urbanisation and mineral resource demand," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 2, pages 57-71, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsy:journl:journl_tsy_er_2010_2_1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Kevin Honglin & Song, Shunfeng, 2003. "Rural-urban migration and urbanization in China: Evidence from time-series and cross-section analyses," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 386-400.
    2. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brendan Coates & Nghi Luu, 2012. "China's emergence in global commodity markets," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 1-30, May.
    2. Veasna Kong & Adam McKissack & Dong Zhang, 2012. "China in a new period of transition," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 4, pages 42-62, December.
    3. Tony McDonald & Yong Hong Yan & Blake Ford & David Stephan, 2010. "Estimating the structural budget balance of the Australian Government," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 3, pages 51-79, October.

    More about this item


    China; economic growth; mineral resources; urbanisation;

    JEL classification:

    • N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure


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