Thanks to all for this most interesting thread on the Type 59. I am currently finalizing a large chapter on Chinese Makarovs and unfortunately many basic facts remain unclear. I had originally thought that the Type 59s were made from 1959 through 1962, but it may be as likely that they were only made in 1959. One fact that may support this is that observed serial numbers seem to continually increase as opposed to start over each year. Total production of the Type 59 seems to be between 65,000 and 70,000 based on observed and reported serial numbers (about 40 pistols).
Please see my article on military and commercial Chinese Makarovs in the July-August 2016 issue of Man at Arms magazine. That article represented my thinking on these pistols up to the point I wrote it. By the way, I estimate that around 10,000 commercial Chinese Makarovs were imported in to the US based on observed serial numbers.
co-author of The Makarov Pistol Soviet Union & East Germany by Brown and White 2016