Reconfiguring the Microgeography of China: Special Economic Zones



The geography of China is being reconfigured at a variety of scales and by a variety of processes. In Chapter 6, we described how policies of the central government had at some times emphasised inland development and at others development along the coast. The result has been large scale, albeit slow, changes in regional economic geography. Secondly, since the reform process started in the late 1970s, the government has opened up the Chinese economy, and in the process the provinces have gained power relative to the central government (Hendrischke 1999). The provinces have thus been provided the space within which to construct and then exploit provincial competitive advantages. The result is a variety of strategies through which the provinces are becoming economically and culturally distinct. On the provincial scale, China’s geography is being reconfigured. But, thirdly, Chinese governments have also sought to remake the geography of the space economy at a much smaller scale, by demarcating the spaces within which particular kinds of policies are followed. These are reconfigurations at the urban or intra-urban scales.


Central Government Foreign Investment Global Economy Foreign Trade Foreign Currency 
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© Michael Webber, Mark Wang and Zhu Ying 2002

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