China’s Regional Economic Development since 1949: Review and Outlook

Shi Bihua
Institute of Industrial Economics (IIE), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, China

Abstract: Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China’s regional development strategy has experienced three stages – the balanced development strategy before reform and opening up in 1978, imbalanced development strategy since 1978, and the present coordinated development stage. Each stage has its own priorities and characteristics of historical context and offers valuable experience for China’s regional economic development. Reviewing the journey and historic characteristics of China’s regional economic development is of great theoretical and relevant significance to its balanced regional economic development in the new era. Experience shows that in the strategic choice of regional development, importance should be given to the proper handling of relationships between efficiency and fairness, government and market, equilibrium and disequilibrium, and central and local governments. In general, China’s regional economic development has achieved tremendous progress since 1949, particularly since 1978 as manifested in favorable regional development momentum and balanced regional development. Nevertheless, imbalanced and inadequate regional development remain prominent contradictions. In the new era, we must follow Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics as guidance, implement the strategy of balanced regional development, and bring about a new development pattern characterized by equal access to basic public services, relatively balanced infrastructure accessibility and generally equal living standards.

Keywords: balanced, imbalanced, coordinated regional development

JEL classification code: P21, P25, R11, O18
DOI:1 0.19602/j .chinaeconomist.2019.7.04

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