Tropical Geography ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 625-634.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003181

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Region Building: The Policy and Strategy Response of Foshan Integrating into the Construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

Chen Pinyu, Li Luqi   

  1. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2019-08-05 Revised:2019-09-29 Online:2019-09-10 Published:2019-11-08

Abstract:

The social construction of region has received little attention from Chinese scholars; there are few studies regarding the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area from the perspective of city government’s actions and strategies. Instead, most of the literature focuses on its political impacts, economic patterns, and urban spatial structures. This paper adopts the discourse analysis method to explore the policy and response strategy of Foshan integrating into the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, with the intention to fill in the gap mentioned above. This approach allows for an analysis of how local governments are embedded into the larger network during the process of regional construction to expand urban development space and achieve more economic development. Additionally, it will enrich the literature with information about the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area from the perspective of urban government. This study found that Foshan has constructed its regional identity as the core city of the western part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, and this helps determine the strategy and direction for how Foshan might integrate into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area through strategic unification. In particular, Foshan is neither a provincial capital city nor a Special Economic Zone, making it difficult for Foshan to have the same political status and administrative power as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macao. There is also a certain disparity in the allocation of resources. In this context, Foshan has established a network of relations with different cities and regions, forming different regionalization at different scales, including the urban, regional, and global scales. These strategies are reflected in three aspects. At the urban scale, Foshan connects to cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macao, and it has built the Sanlong Bay high-end innovation cluster (Sanlongwan) as a regional platform, which aims to reconsolidate resources. This improves Foshan’s ability to coordinate regional development and fosters new local growth poles to maintain a competitive advantage. At the regional scale, Foshan aims to connect to the Guangxi and Guizhou provinces, building the Foshan West Railway Station Hub at New Town (Foshan Xizhan Shuniu Xincheng) as a regional platform, making the Guangdong-Guangxi-Guizhou High-speed Railway Economic Cooperation Zone(Yue-Gui-Qian Gaotie Jingji Hezuoqu) and even the Southwest China as its economic hinterland. At the global scale, Foshan is connected to Germany, building the Sino-German industrial service area (Zhongde Gongye Fuwuqu) as a regional platform, which has created local-global connectivity channels, embedding itself into the global market economy. The Foshan case demonstrates how the region, as a confluence of multiple factors at different scales, generates important insights into how new state spaces of development are produced and reproduced to dovetail regional assets with national and transnational economic ties. This study responds to the New Regional Geography from the perspective of social constructivism to examine regional development issues. Additionally, it responds to the latest appeals for China’s urban network research, and in practice, it clarifies how other cities can more easily integrate into the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, and these results may even be useful for regional development.

Key words: regional building, regionalization, scale, network, regional identity, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Foshan

CLC Number: 

  • F127