Products and Natural Resources
Chongqing, with its rich natural resources both on the ground and underground, favorably located, with great potential for development, is one of China’s regions abound in natural resources.
There are rich plant resources in the territory of Chongqing, with a forest coverage of 20.49 percent. More than 6,000 kinds of various plants can be found in this area, including rare species of trees, such as the spinulose tree fern, the metasequoia, the bald Chinese fir, the cathaya argyrop-hylla, and the dove tree, known as “living fossils”. On Jinyun Mountain alone, there are more than 1,700 kinds of subtropical trees, including the “living fossil” metasequoia, a plant that existed 160 million years ago, and bretscheidera sinensis and the “moth tree”, plants rarely seen in other parts of the world. On Jinfo Mountain in Nanchuan, a natural reserve and scenic spot, there are 5,880 species of 333 families of plants, including 52 rare plants such as cathaya argyrophylla, square bamboo, ginkgo, giant tea, and ginseng, and 36 rare species of animals under special protection by the State, such as presbytis fran?oisi and leopard; on Simianshan Mountain in Jiangjin there are more than 1,500 kinds of plants and 207 kinds of animals, including 47 key animals and plants under special protection by the State and 23 rare animals.
With its extremely plentiful medicinal herbs, Chongqing is a major producer of Chinese medicine in the country. There are over 2,000 kinds of different Chinese medicinal herbs, wild or cultivated, growing in large areas in the mountains in Chongqing, including rhizome of Chinese golden thread, rhizome of large-headed atractylodes, honeysuckle, root of hairy asiabell, bulb of fritillary, tuber of elevated gastrodia, bark of official magnolia, yellow tallow, bark of eucommia, rhizoma corydalis, Chinese angelica, etc. Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County is China’s major producer of rhizome of Chinese golden thread, and is known as “the land of Chinese golden thread”.
There are over 560 kinds of cultivated plants in Chongqing, mainly in four categories: rice, corn, wheat and sweat potatoes, with rice as the most important crop. In addition to farm crops such as grain, oil-bearing crops and vegetables, Chongqing also produces industrial crops of fine quality, including rape-seeds, peanuts, tung oil, Chinese tallow trees, tea, mulberry for silkworms breeding, jute, blush dogbane, and flue-cured tobacco, known as “the land of citrus fruits”, “the land of tung oil”, “the land of Chinese tallow trees”. Qianjiang, with its favorable climate and geographical conditions, produces high-quality flue-cured tobacco of the Yunnan-guizhou type, and is known as “the land of flue-cured tobacco”; Fuling is famous for its tasty mustard tubes, and is known as “the land of mustard tubes”. Major fruits in Chongqing include oranges and tangerines, shaddocks, peaches, and plums, oranges and tangerines being the most famous. Among the over 600 kinds of animal species found in Chongqing, 100 are rare animals that enjoy special protection of the state, including the golden-haired monkey, the South China tiger, the bee monkey, and the black stork. Among the over 40 kinds of domestic animals and fowls, the Rongchang pig is the No.1 of China’s three major species of pigs, and this pig is known as a treasure of the country. Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County is the largest producer of long-haired rabbits in China.
Of the major cities in China, Chongqing is the richest in mineral resources. 75 minerals have been found, and 39 minerals have proved reserves in 353 places, with a potential value of 388.2 billion yuan. Advantageous minerals in the city are coal, natural gas, manganese, mercury, aluminum, strontium, etc. Proved reserve for coal in Chongqing is 3.3 billion tons, making this city a major coal producer in southern China. Proved reserve for natural gas is 320 billion square meters, and the production of natural gas at Wolonghe gas field in Dainjiang County ranks No. 1 in China. Strontium is a mineral that enjoys the most advantages in Chongqing, ranking No. 1 in China both in its reserve and in its quality. The proved reserve of manganese in Chongqing is 37 million tons, ranking No. 2 in China. Reserves of vanadium, molybdenum and barium occupy the third place in the country. The mercury mines in Xiushan and Youyang counties with a proved reserve of 19,000 tons, are giant mercury mines rarely found elsewhere in China. Chongqing also produces nonmetal minerals such as rock salt, barite, fluorite, limestone, silicon, etc.
Rivers and water systems crisscross the territory of Chongqing, and they have tremendous power to be tapped. While over 600 kilometers of the mainstream of the Yangtze River runs through the city, the river is joined by five major tributaries and over a hundred streams with the Yangtze as the axis: the Jialing River, the Qujiang River, the Fujiang River, the Wujiang River, and the Daning River. The average annual water resources total some 500 billion cubic meters, making Chongqing No. 1 in China in terms of water space per square kilometer. The city has a potential theoretical electricity generating power of 14,382,800 kilowatts, of which 7,500,000 can be tapped. The potential total installed capacity per square kilometer in Chongqing is three times of the mean value of the country. This makes Chongqing one of the top few cities in China in terms of volume of development of water resources. Besides, Chongqing is also rich in underground thermal energy and drinkable mineral water.