Spatial Linkages of the Chinese Economy
Covering a vast territory, the Chinese economy shows considerable diversity across different regions. Following the central Chinese government’s implementation of its ‘economic reform and open door’ policy, the South Coast and East Coast regions of China have experienced more development than the central and western regions. In 2002, the eastern, central and western regions of China showed per capita GDP of 13,335 yuan, 6,978 yuan and 5,388 yuan, respectively. By contrast, Shanghai’s per capita GDP is the highest in China, at 33,285 yuan — 10 times the level of the lowest-income region in China, Guizhou. The disparities between the regional economies of China are not only illustrated by the different levels of economic development, but are also reflected in differences in natural resources, industrial structure, human resources, and so on. With regard to natural resource distribution, coal, oil, natural gas, metal ore and agricultural resources are mainly distributed throughout the central and western regions of China, while the resources of the sea are obviously concentrated in the coastal areas, which are also dominated by a number of manufacturing industries. This has produced a particular spatial linkage in the Chinese economy: coal, oil, natural gas, metal ore and agricultural resources flow from the central and western regions to the coastal region, while manufactured products flow from the coastal region to the central and western regions. This will focus on the linkage between the regions in China at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and will use an Input-Output analysis to carry this out.
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