中华人民共和国地质图 / [Geological Map of the People's Republic of China].
41.5 x 62 in (105.41 x 157.48 cm)
1 : 4000000
A very large-format 1976 map of the People's Republic of China, including claimed territory in the South China Sea, Taiwan, and along the border with India, produced by the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. It was published in the waning days of the Cultural Revolution and can be seen as representative of a wider revival of the sciences in the mid-1970s following the ideological attacks of the late-1960s and early 1970s.
A Closer LookThis stunning map primarily represents two geologic features: the various stages of the geologic time scale (地, the yellow, blue, green, pink, and brown hues composing most of the legend) and magmatic rock (岩浆岩, the striking reds in the right-hand side of the legend). Additional shading and notation are used to denote other features, such as petrographic patterns (岩相花纹). The tremendous geological variety of the country is apparent, from the highlands of the southwest to the basins and mountains of the northwest, to the mountains along the southeast coast.
The scope extends to border regions which the People's Republic did not administer at the time, including Taiwan, disputed areas of the border with India, and islands, islets, and other features in the South China Sea (depicted in an inset map at bottom-right, though still too small to indicate much geologic information). The uninhabited Diaoyu /Senkaku Islands north of Taiwan (on the main map), disputed between China and Japan in recent years, are represented with the number 1. The number 2 represents the nearby Chiwei Islet / Taishojima, which like the main Diaoyu Islands has been 'administered' by Japan since the 1970s, though it continued to be used by the U.S. Air Force for target practice until 1978.
Historical ContextThis map was produced near the end of the Cultural Revolution, though nobody knew that at the time. In fact, the ultra-leftist faction in the Chinese Communist Party would soon launch a renewed purge of its opponents following the April 5 (1976) Tiananmen Incident. But the death of Mao Zedong that October and the arrest of the 'Gang of Four' leading the leftist faction soon thereafter signaled the potential for a new direction, which materialized in the drastic shift towards 'Reform and Opening Up' two years later.
However, even before Mao's death, scientists, such as geologists, could be exempt from the intense political pressure that plagued other intellectuals. Although many did suffer persecution in the opening phase of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s, their importance for fields such as national defense and economic development insulated them somewhat from the regular purges that were common in other fields throughout the Cultural Revolution. The mid-1970s, before the 1976 leftist crackdown, were an especially fertile time, as technical expertise and pragmatism were endorsed by Mao to revitalize the nation's flagging economy.
Publication History and CensusThis map was produced by the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (中国地质科学院), printed by the China Geological Map Printing Factory (中国地质图制印厂), and published by the Cartographic Publishing House (地图出版社) in March 1976, a second printing of the first edition of this map, undertaken in Shanxi Province. It is well-represented in institutional collections in North America but scarce to the market.
The Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (中国地质科学院; 1956 - present) is the premier research institution in mainland China for research in geology and related fields. Given the geological diversity of China and the limited number of previous studies due to warfare, poverty, and disorder for much of the 20th century, the Academy has advanced from a limited basis to pilot several groundbreaking research projects in recent decades. More by this mapmaker...
China Cartographic Publishing House (中国地图出版社; 1954 - present) is the only national-level publisher of maps in the People's Republic of China and is by far the largest publisher of maps in China. The firm was formed with the consolidation of the state-run Xinhua Map Agency and 15 other private press agencies, among them some of the earliest known modern Chinese map publishers dating to about 1900. Its official English name has been changed to Sino Map Press.
Very good. Accompanied by original sleeve.