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Cities and Urbanization

(2,607 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
1. The Historical Point of Departure The development of cities and the current urban system in China reflect, of course, different stages of economic and social development. Already at the beginning of the 17th century China had a quite differentiated urban system, which was based not only on the administrative hierarchy, but also on sustained growth in agricultural production, the development of handicrafts and domestic trade, as well as a spatial expansion of the periodic markets. At the end of the …

Economic Regions

(2,642 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
Within the framework of the reforms launched in regard to foreign and domestic business in the PRC, the advantages of a division of labor along regional lines on both the macro- and meso-levels are increasingly being emphasized. This division of labor, as well as the growing regional desire for independent development, is reflected in the establishment of numerous economic zones and regions on differing scales. From the point of view of the central government, the main question in the discussion…

Foreign Trade: Hong Kong

(1,493 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the People's Republic of China are often each spoken of as the most important trade partner for the other, yet this assumption must be refined because included in the Hong Kong trade statistics is trade between China and other countries that flows through Hong Kong. Moreover, Hong Kong's foreign trade is difficult to measure because the relocation of a large number of Hong Kong industrial firms to mainland China, in particular the province of Guangdong, has significantly transformed the import/export structure. Prior to the open …

Hong Kong

(3,606 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
6.86 million inhabitants 1098 km² HK Island 18 inhabitants/km2 Kowloon 45 inhabitants/km2 When Hong Kong was returned to the People's Republic on July 1, 1997, 156 years of British colonial rule came to their end. Since then, Hong Kong has retained the status of a Special Administrative Region (SAR) under the rule of the People's Republic. All fears to the contrary notwithstanding, Hong Kong has mostly been able to preserve its democratic rights, freedom of the press and independent judiciary, and a wide ra…

Housing, allocation of

(1,329 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
After the establishment of the PRC, the urban housing market in China was organized mainly as a publicly supported housing system. Before 1949, there were very few subsidized apartments. If at all available, they were reserved for government officials. Common workers and low-income households had no access to living space reduced in price. Although in the early years of the PRC, the urban housing sector was characterized by a massive lack of living space and sometimes catastrophic living conditi…

Spatial and Urban Planning

(2,660 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
Until 1979, economic and planning activities were entirely in the hands of central authorities and ministries in Beijing. The respective state units presumably also followed their own agendas without subjecting themselves to a coordinated plan. Although the State Planning Commission played an important role in the coordination of the different projects, overall control was extremely difficult to achieve, not least owing to the size and heterogeneity of the country. Until the beginning of the opening up policy spatial economic policies were largely connected to th…

Special Economic Zones

(1,450 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
In 1979 the Chinese government decided to initiate economic reforms in selected areas of the two provinces Fujian and Guangdong , in other words, to establish "capitalist" enclaves there. In 1980 the government designated four Special Economic Zones (SEZ): Xiamen (Fujian province), Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou (Guangdong province). In 1988 the entire island of Hainan was also made a SEZ (see plate VI). The rationale for the establishment of the SEZs was to open selected areas for foreign inves…