- Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo jingji dituji (National economic atlas of the People's Republic of China), and: National Economic Atlas of China (review)
- China Review International
- University of Hawai'i Press
- Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 1995
- pp. 291-295
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Reviews 291© 1995 by University ofHawai'i Press China was not even a feudal society. Likewise he assumes that Mao could and would have successfully defended the Jiangxi Soviet against Chiang Kai-shek's Fifth Extermination Campaign had it not been for Wang Ming's "disastrous leadership" (p. 16). There are other similar mistakes, but there is no point in listing them. One hopes they reflect slips on the part ofthe author and not any ideological position. Steve Tsang St. Antony's College, Oxford ISl Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguojingji dituji (National economic atlas ofthe People's Republic ofChina). Beijing: China Cartographical Publications, 1993.373 pp. 34 ? 50 cm. 620 yuan. National Economic Atlas ofChina. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.350 pp. 34 ? 50 cm. $375.00. For many years prior to the 1990s, maps and charts were considered confidential materials for internal use only in China. Except for simple tourist maps, foreign travelers and visitors were not allowed to take maps out of the country. In view of such restrictive measures in the recent past, the publication ofthe National Economic Atlas is indeed a milestone. The English version of the atlas issued by Oxford University Press should be particularly welcomed by scholars outside China. The adas is a collective product ofseveral government research agencies, in particular , the Institute ofGeography ofthe Chinese Academy ofSciences, the National Economic Information Center, and tiie Statistical Science Research Institute ofthe National Statistical Bureau. Ithad been in preparation for several years, as the preface ofthe adas was written by the Compilation and Editing Com-mittee in November 1988 and the calligraphynoting die significance ofthe adas was made by die premier Li Peng in August 1989. The adas was not published until 1993, probably due to the need for more time to include the final tabulation of the 1990 population census data, one ofthe key types ofsource material employed in this enormous volume. The atlas starts with a lengthy editorial statement describing its composition, including the number ofmaps in each sector, the major source materials employed , procedures ofquantitative analysis, the application ofcomputer mapping methods, die character ofbase maps and map projections, systems and classification ofeconomic indicators, the design and selection ofmap symbols, and the 292 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 construction and printing ofmaps in color. This useful statement was contributed by Liu Yue, the Chief ofthe Editorial Committee for the atlas. The atlas is composed often major sections: (1) Resources, (2) Population, (3) Economic Indicators, (4) Agriculture, (5) Industry, (6) Communication and Transportation, (7) Infrastructure and Environmental Protection, (8) Commerce, Trade Finance, and Tourism, (9) Education, Scientific Research, Sports, and Medical Care, and (10) Comprehensive Economy of Provinces. Emphasis is placed on industry, which accounts for eighty-four maps, 31.7 percent of the total maps in the atlas. There are also thirty-two maps portraying the spatial distribution of China's agricultural economy, ranging from crop composition and per capita and per acre output values to the frequency of natural disasters. These informative maps have very little overlap with the National Agricultural Atlas ofthe People's Republic ofChina, compiled by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and published by Cartographic Publications in 1989. The latter is also a collaborative work, involving forty-six national research institutes and universities and based on 1983 statistics. Readers may wish to look at both atlases to get a more complete picture of China's agricultural economy in a spatial perspective. Relatively weak is the section on environmental quality, with only three maps depicting the quantity and disposal of three types ofwaste—solid, liquid, and gaseous —produced by Chinese cities. No information is given on the pollution of rivers, lakes, or coastal waters. The environmental quality ofrural areas is not mentioned. The relative importance ofdifferent sections ofthe atlas appears to coincide widi die priority China has given to national development in recent years. A commendable feature of this atlas is that the cartographic technology is state-of-the-art. China's geographic location is effectively portrayed by an Orthographic Azimuthal projection, with the center near the middle ofdie Sichuan Basin at 300N and 1050E, showing a minimum distortion in shape and area and maintaining a nearly conformai...