China's modern history began with the founding of the People's Republic in October 1949. The turmoil and destruction of the first half of the twentieth century are in contrast to China's emphasis on reconstruction and new construction in the second half of the century. As measured by raw steel output--an indication of a country's industrial development--China rose from its ashes to become the world's fourth largest steel producer by the 1980's. In this U.S. Bureau of Mines study, the development of china's iron and steel industry is given in historic perspective, surveyed as to its present status, and projected into the future as planned by the chinese leadership. Despite grandiose targets for expanding annual output capacity, China will remain a net importer of steel; the country's modernization and industrialization will in the long term play the most important role in china's emergence in world trade of finished manufactures.