The mainland of China's rapid pace of industrialization and trade expansion have led many to ask whether its ever-increasing demand for resources can be met without disruption to economic stability and growth in the country and the world as a whole. The article examines the experience of growth in resource demand and the associated pressure on global markets from Japan, Taiwan Province of China and Korea during their periods of sustained, rapid economic growth for periods in the second half of the twentieth century. It seeks to draw lessons for the twenty-first century. The article points out that because of its size the mainland of China may cause the resources boom, associated with the later decades of its period of sustained rapid growth, to raise the prices of resource-intensive products by a large amount, not for a few years, but for several decades. This will have important implications for economic development and the distribution of incomes within and between all countries, and on power relations between states in the Asia-Pacific and throughout the global community.