China has progressed dramatically since 1978 when the country started its economic reforms and opened up to the world economy. It took only three decades for China to develop from a closed, centrally planned economy with little sea-borne trade into the world's second largest economy with the largest container shipment volume in the world. The major coastal cities have been gateways linking China with the world and have experienced rapid urbanization and port growth. How has such port growth been speeded up and realized under strong state control and intervention? How have ports and their cities affected each other? What lessons can China’s port-cities learn from other countries, regions and cities? What will be the next stage of port-city interplays in China in this globalizing era? Answering these questions from a geographical perspective, James Wang looks into four sets of port-city relations in China: Economic and functional relations between port and city; port-city spatial relations; external network relations of cities through ports; and port-city governance. These relations formulate a conceptual framework which is used to interpret port-city interplays in individual ports and cities but also in multi-port regions such as the Pearl River Delta. Based on the author’s own research and investigations into more than 25 port cities in China over the past 18 years, this book provides vivid stories about China and challenge existing theories on port development.
’Port cities have become key enablers of global supply and production chains. The study of port cities, and particularly the relation between ports and cities, has reached new heights to address paradigm shifts in the institutional and market environment. This book constitutes a major contribution to existing literature by presenting a convincing in-depth analysis of the fast changing dynamics in port-city relationships in China, a country where the practices of the states are probably more important than the procedures of the firms.’ Theo Notteboom, University of Antwerp, Belgium ’The scale and scope of recent change in China’s port cities is staggering. James Wang, the leading scholar on Chinese ports, provides a comprehensive interpretation of multi- level institutional forces that intersect with commercial imperatives behind the present complex spatial relationships in coastal China. The book guides the reader through the complexity and reviews the contemporary challenges. It is nothing less than a tour de force.’ Brian Slack, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Contents: Introduction: coastal port cities as global interfaces; An analytical framework for port-city relations; Port-city economic and functional relationship; Port-city spatial relations; External relationships of Chinese port cities; Port-city governance relations; Relations among ports and port cities in specific regions; Multi-layered port-city dynamics in China's coastal areas; Conclusion and foresight; Bibliography; Index.