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In the early 1980s, China's serious shortage of productive
forest combined with outdated technology to create a pulp-and-paper
shortage at a time of increasing demand. From 1981 to 1986 the
annual growth rate of paper production was 7.3 percent. However, in
1986 only 20 percent of paper pulp was made of wood; the remainder
derived from grass fiber.
China's more than 1,500 paper mills, produced approximately
45.4 million tons and over 500 different types of machine-made
paper in 1986. Approximately 1 million tons of pulp and paper were
imported annually. In 1986 China focused on pollution control,
increased product variety, less use of fiber and chemical
ingredients, and more efficient use of energy as measures to
improve production. However, China also sought foreign assistance
to achieve these goals.
Data as of July 1987