Table of Content

    10 November 2019, Volume 39 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Drug Economy and Fragmented Sovereignty: A Geopolitical Analysis of Northern Myanmar
    Su Xiaobo, Cai Xiaomei, Zhou Can
    2019, 39 (6):  799-811.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003193
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    Ethnic states in northern Myanmar, including the Shan and Kachin states, are adjacent to the Chinese province of Yunnan. These states constitute today’s notorious Golden Triangle. As the world’s second largest drug production area, the Golden Triangle has accommodated the production and trafficking of illicit drugs for more than 100 years. The drug economy has turned northern Myanmar into a zone of military conflicts and economic plight, raising various issues regarding how illicit drugs shape national sovereignty. Building upon archives and scholarly references, this study focuses on northern Myanmar and the origin and evolution of the drug economy in this mountainous area. Using the latest theoretical tenets in political geography, this study specifically explores how the drug economy has generated political and economic crisis since Myanmar became independent in 1948 and examines the accompanying geopolitical conflicts and external intervention. The research questions in this study are as follows: Why have illicit drugs taken root in northern Myanmar? How does the drug economy influence the Burmese state’s national sovereignty and territorial control in northern Myanmar? The study argues that illicit drugs result in and are attributed to domestic fragmented sovereignty and external intervention. Furthermore, the drug economy and drug-related crimes have already penetrated into northern Myanmar to such an extent that national sovereignty is seriously jeopardized. On the one hand, drug-related organizations fight against the Burmese Military forces to impose territorial control upon villages and towns so that they can safeguard drug plantations and trafficking. Drug money in turn consolidates these organizations’ military capacity, resulting in drug militaries in both the Shan and Kachin states. On the other hand, the Burmese military forces deployed the drug economy to entice local militias to partner in fighting against the well-organized Burmese Communist Party during the 1970s and 1980s and ethnic armed groups during the 2000s. Drugs, violent conflicts, and territorial fragmentation have combined to shape sovereignty in northern Myanmar and generate endless political crisis. In addition, the drug economy provides an opportunity for external forces to intervene in domestic affairs in Myanmar. During the last six decades, various forces from China and the United States have either relied on drugs to enfeeble the Burmese state’s efforts at territorial control in the northern highland or exercised drug control to influence social and economic development in the source areas. Because of the low degree of trust between the central state controlled by the Burman majority and military forces controlled by ethnic minority groups in the northern region, there is a lack of ethnic reconciliation and thus a benign political condition for nationwide drug control. Hence, the drug economy in northern Myanmar is intertwined with nation building, which triggers fragmented national sovereignty and external intervention. As a result, northern Myanmar has become among the poorest areas in Asia. An analysis of illicit drugs as an open-sourced architecture of power can enrich Agnew’s theory of territory and sovereignty. Practically, a historical understanding of the drug economy in northern Myanmar can contribute to China-Myanmar relations and show the challenges and opportunities of regionalization between Yunnan and Myanmar.

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    Political Public Opinion Cliques and Its Interest Game: An Analytical Perspective of Long-term Internal Conflict in Myanma
    Xiong Liran, Liu Jing, Liu Baoqiang, Jiang Meiying
    2019, 39 (6):  812-822.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003191
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    As an important neighboring country of China and an important node country along the Belt and Road Initiative, the internal political change in Myanmar will endanger the border security of China. As a result, furthering practical development of the community of shared interests as well as the community of a shared future between China and the surrounding countries will be influenced. First, in this study, we an analytical framework in which domestic political actors influence the state’s political situation. Then, from perspectives of “public opinion, “politics of public opinion,” and “political public opinion” this paper classifies the historical events of competition and cooperation among the political actors in Myanmar by analyzing historical documents. We divide the domestic political forces of Myanmar into six major political public opinion cliques according to features such as the composition subject and interests demand and behavior style. Then, we analyze the space-time environment of the political public opinion cliques forming process and discuss the process and mechanism of the formation of political public opinion cliques. By analyzing the behavior of political public opinion cliques, we consider that six major political public opinion cliques have been formed that are driven by individual interests and play chess with each other in the context of constitutional crisis and ethnic construction under the concepts of “one religion, one language, and one race.” Additionally, we consider that the geographical division of ethnic minorities and the Bamar are divided in the geographical environment of the spatial distribution caused by the topography of Myanmar territory. These public opinion cliques mainly include a military-political public opinion clique, a public opinion clique pursuing western-style democracy, an ethnic clique pursuing autonomy or independence, a public opinion clique with exclusivism by outside forces, an extremely xenophobic Buddhist public opinion clique, and a religious exclusionary (mostly Muslim) opinion clique. These political public opinion cliques have become the main political actors in Myanmar by signing agreements with equal consultation, inducing compromise with tactics, and forcing acceptance with powerful strikes. The essence of the conflict of political public opinion cliques is that their interests exceed national interests, and the game of political public opinion cliques has a far-reaching impact on the political situation of Myanmar, which is the main cause of the long-term conflict in Myanmar. The research on the issue of democracy and the national religious problems from the view of “public opinion” and “politics of public opinion” presented in this dissertation are tentative and explorative. In particular, the findings from this study are expected to offer a new perspective and reference for political public opinion events in neighboring countries such as political instability in Thailand and the questions about some people's opposition to China in the Philippines.

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    Impact of the Northern Myanmar Situation on the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor Construction
    Li Chansong, Hu Pingping, Yang Wangzhou
    2019, 39 (6):  823-832.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003199
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    If Myanmar is the bridge of “the Belt and Road Initiative” connecting south and southeast Asia in the geographical pattern of Asia, then northern Myanmar is the key to entering the bridge. The present situation in northern Myanmar shows the following characteristics: 1) the scale of the conflict continues to rise over time, with the conflict spreading from Kokang to the north-south direction of Myanmar and being highly concentrated in the central region; 2) the geographical environment of northern Myanmar is complex, and it is a region where interests of great powers converge; 3) the conflict between the Burmese army and the ethnic armed groups cannot be eliminated in the short term, and this persistent conflict will be the norm in northern Myanmar; and 4) the parties to the conflict lack a platform for equal dialog and consensus in peace talks, and are unable to reach a consensus in the short term. This situation in northern Myanmar has affected the construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, resulting in the inability to effectively push forward its investment projects, blocking the development of the “herringbone” corridor, and damaging the image of the Chinese government and enterprises in Myanmar. In view of the impact of the situation in northern Myanmar, China and other international organizations should seriously research on and accurately grasp the demands of both sides and the situation in Myanmar and actively assist both sides in conflict. Major political parties must set up a dialog platform, establish an equal consultation mechanism, and promote the effective advancement of peace talks. The creation of the economic corridor should focus not only on the construction of a hard environment, but also on the strengthening of investment in a soft environment, which will be the key to ensuring the effective advancement of the China-Myanmar economic corridor construction. Therefore, taking the case of Myanmar as a breakthrough is greatly significant in building a model of “the Belt and Road” construction around China and in exploring effective ways of implementing the initiative and summarizing various experiences.

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    Temporal and Spatial Evolution Characteristics and Laws of Geostrategic Intersections in Great Powers
    Hu Zhiding, Wang Xuewen
    2019, 39 (6):  833-843.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003196
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    Since the end of the 20 th century, the world has considerably changed considerably. Great countries are formulating and constantly adjusting their country's geostrategic strategies in response, promoting the formation of a classic and modern geostrategic strategy. However, research regarding the spatial-temporal evolution of geostrategic intersections is limited. Therefore, it is of great theoretical and practical significance to explore the characteristics and laws of the spatial-temporal evolution of geostrategic intersections and analyze their origins. Using text analysis and spatial visualization methods, seven major world powers are selected according to comprehensive and industrial indicators. Their geostrategic strategies during different periods since 1900 are analyzed. The results show that the spatial and temporal evolution of the geostrategic intersections of large countries shows three distinct characteristics: the spatial and temporal evolution of the geostrategic intersections of the great countries is characterized by the spatial characteristics of the Eurasian continent, concentrated in marginal crescent-shaped regions, and spatially distributed around areas surrounding China. At the same time, the temporal and spatial evolution of the intersections also followed three evolutionary laws, including the transformation from dispersion to concentration and the occurrence of ocean-continent intersections, partial regional stability, and a“low politicization” trend. Following an analysis of the reasons driving the evolution of intersections, it is found that national interests, resource needs, regional histories, and complex religious issues as well as changes in the international system are important reasons for the formation of geostrategic intersections. Finally, suggestions such as strengthening naval capabilities, weakening the trend of concentration in geostrategic intersections, and concentrating the power of economic competition in geostrategic intersections are proposed to provide a reference for China to address changes in the international situation.

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    Development Mode and Enlightenment of the Chinese Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in Laos: A Case Study of the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone
    Chen Yanhua, Zhang Hong’ou, Huang Gengzhi, Ye Yuyao, Wu Qitao
    2019, 39 (6):  844-854.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003189
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    The overseas economic and trade cooperation zone of China has become an important platform and spatial strategy for the country to implement the “going out” strategy and “the Belt and Road Initiative.” On the basis of summarizing the characteristics of China’s overseas economic and trade cooperation zones, this study analyzes the development mode of the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone in Laos and reveals the advantages and disadvantages of the zone from the perspective of enterprises through a field research and an in-depth interview. The research findings are as follows: 1) the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone is a typical project developed in the form of “project construction + land compensation”, whose development orientation is in line with Laos’ conditions and needs; and 2) the advantages of this zone conclude superior political status, strong tax incentives, and obvious geographical advantages, while the disadvantages are an incomplete industrial chain system, difficulty in overseas financing, weak local grounding, insufficient cohesion between enterprises, lack of labor resources, and lower labor skills and efficiency. This study also discusses the enlightenment of this case on China's foreign investment research and overseas economic and trade cooperation zone construction. We specifically propose that research in relevant fields should focus on three aspects, with the first aspect being the location selection and industrial layout of China's overseas economic and trade cooperation zones. Aside from considering optimal profit, lower cost, rich resources, and market, the location preference of China’s overseas economic and trade cooperation zones sometimes shows other accidental factors, such as the case herein involving the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone. A systematic investigation and an in-depth analysis on the location selection mechanism of China’s overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, a special outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) mode, must be conducted to enrich the theoretical and empirical research on the OFDI location selection. The second aspect is the local embedding mechanism of China's overseas economic and trade cooperation zones. Economic geography scholars should give full play to the geographical advantage of performing field research combined with a global production network analysis framework and methods of social network analysis, identify the different roles and interactive relations of government, enterprises, and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of foreign trade and economic cooperation zones, understand how specific overseas economic and trade cooperation zones under a specific political and economic structure are embedded in the host country's system and economic and social relationships, which is helpful in reducing enterprise overseas investment risks; and provide some guidance for promoting the smooth development of China’s foreign economic and trade cooperation zone. The third aspect is the economic and geographical impact of China’s overseas economic and trade cooperation zones. With regard to the exploration of the impact and mechanism of overseas economic and trade cooperation zones on China’s transfer of excess capacity, the investment environment, industrial development, labor market, and other aspects of the host country are urgent issues, which economic geography scholars should pay attention to. Understanding these issues will be helpful in understanding China’s ongoing economic transformation and regional spatial reconstruction to some extent. From a practical point of view, we believe that strengthening intergovernmental consultation and meeting the development needs of the host country are the keys to ensuring the smooth development of China’s overseas economic and trade cooperation zones. Moreover, promoting vocational training for local labor is a fundamental way of solving the host country’s labor problems faced by overseas economic and trade cooperation zones.

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    Foreign Trade and Its Influencing Factors between China and Countries along “the Belt and Road” Route
    Xu Yanggui, Liu Yungang
    2019, 39 (6):  855-868.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003201
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    This study explores the trade pattern and influencing factors between China and countries along “ the Belt and Road” route using the gravity model of trade. With the implementation of China’s “the Belt and Road” initiative, the growing trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route gradually became the principal measured standard of the achievements of the “the Belt and Road” initiative and an essential sign of implementing the concept of “the Belt and Road” initiative. Based on the five types of connectivity of “the Belt and Road” initiative, including connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance, and people, we unravel the factors influencing the trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route and conduct a quantitative analysis of the factors. This study found that the total trade volume in the total import and export between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route is influenced by the level of economic development, the size of each country’s market, the political system, accessibility and convenience of trade, and China’s foreign direct investment and non-governmental exchange and cooperation. Among these, China’s foreign direct investment shows hysteresis in promoting trade development between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route. Because of each country’s different economic policies, trade policies, and international relations, the delay period between China’s foreign direct investment and trade development could differ. China’s foreign direct investment in countries along “the Belt and Road” route, however, has the most positive effect two years after the investment flowing into the host country. This study also found that China’s foreign direct investment has various effects on the total trade volume in the total import and export between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route. They can be divided into four types: strong driving, driving, general, and insufficient driving. The countries in the strong driving type and driving type are in Southeast Asia, western Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. This study enriches the domestic empirical research on the influencing factors of foreign trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route, helps to improve the efficiency of Chinese enterprises’ overseas investment, and contributes to promoting the communication on economics and trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route. This study also puts forward the view that China’s foreign direct investment shows hysteresis in promoting trade development. Future research could focus on the differences of the delay period in different industries between China’s foreign direct investment and the economic and trade development in the host country, exploring ways to shorten the delay period from the policy perspective and better promote the implementation of “the Belt and Road” initiative.

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    Spatio-temporal Evolution and Driving Mechanism of Violent Attacks in India
    Zeng Zhuo, Xiong Liran, Jiang Meiying
    2019, 39 (6):  869-879.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003188
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    Violent extremism, as an unconventional means and phenomenon by which a weak party confronts a strong, and to achieve their own political or other non-purely selfish purposes through violence, threats and other destructive means. Violent extremism is usually manifested as political extremism, religious extremism and national extremism, it has thus also become one of the ideological roots of terrorism. As a great power in South Asia, India has been plagued by violent extremism since its independence. The frequent occurrence of violent attacks not only seriously affects the domestic security situation in India, but also poses a threat to peace and stability in South Asia. In addition, as one of the important nodes of the “turbulent arc of world terrorism”, the proliferation of violent extremism in India will further aggravate the instability in the region and even the whole world. Based on data from the violent attacks in India included the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), this study analyzes the spatio-temporal evolution and driving mechanism of violent attacks in India from 1980 to 2017 by means of nuclear density analysis. The violent attacks in India are frequent, which have obvious targets and spatial orientation in the targets and the distribution of the events. The targets of violent attacks mainly refer to organizations such as government departments, the military, the police, the transportation department, and religious figures. From a spatial perspective, the violent attacks in India have spread from west to east, from north to south, and from border areas to inland. The characteristics show the development trend of local concentration and surface diffusion. Presented in the northwestern Jammu-Kashmir region and Punjab, the northeastern Assam and Manipur, the central Chhattisgarh and the eastern Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal Four gathering centers. A “T”-shaped spatial pattern is formed with the upper axis of the Indus River-the Ganges-Brahmaputra River as the horizontal axis, and the eastern Ghats and its northern mountains as the vertical axis. The research shows that it is affected by many factors, such as identity, economic problems, historical problems and interest demands, and under the promotion of religious extremism, national separatism, armed revolutionism, the interaction between actors, the violent attacks in India have shown that the subject of the attack has become more complicated and diversified. The scope of the attack has expanded, the attacks has become more frequent and violent attacks have far-reaching effects. At present, violent attacks and terrorist attacks occur frequently all over the world, which pose a great threat to regional stability, national security and international peace. The study on the spatio-temporal evolution and driving mechanism of violent attacks in India is of certain reference significance for global counter-terrorism strategy and harmonious development of global society.

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    Hong Kong’s Cultural Identity from a Literary Geography Perspective
    Zhang Lingyu, Ye Haowei, An Ning
    2019, 39 (6):  880-888. 
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    Based on textual and archive analysis methods and a literary geography analytical framework and research paradigm, this study analyzed the three most popular and widely recognized literary works during the 1970s and transitional and post-colonial periods in Hong Kong. The geographical and spatial imaginations, character activities, and local culture reproduced in the three spatial dimensions of “local,” “national,” and “global” were deconstructed. In addition, the hidden cultural identity and identity consciousness behind the three works was investigated. The study found that because of constant changes in Hong Kong’s social history and cultural background, its cultural identity and identity consciousness is constantly being reshaped. Through textual analysis, we found that the earliest budding of cultural and spatial identity in Hong Kong literature is local consciousness. Xixi’s literary work “My City” is considered the initial work on local consciousness, which outlines a strong local consciousness, at the spatial scale, of a “city” in the gap between the British Hong Kong government and the home that cannot be returned. Second, in the context of China's recognition of Hong Kong’s sovereignty, the literary work “Revolving Doll’s Journey”, a representative work on the return theme, profoundly portrays the identity confusion among the people of Hong Kong during the process of upscaling their identity. Finally, Yesi’s literary work “Post-colonial Food and Love”, which tells the story of Hong Kong after the return through food as a storyline, provides the audience a detailed observation of Hong Kong society under a mixed post-colonial culture. Through an analysis of these three literary works, we found that Hong Kong realized an awakening of local identity consciousness during colonial rule and a sense of belonging to Chinese culture, discomfort with the upscale in identity consciousness during the transitional stage, and multiculturalism after the return. This progression not only achieved an upscaling of identity from local to national, and then to globalization, but also created a three-fold cultural identity with continuous negotiation and conflict among Chinese, Western, and local cultures in Hong Kong. Notably, Hong Kong’s cultural identity is not a linear development process from local to national to globalization, but, in contrast, it is in constant change and negotiation among the three elements whose emphasis is different during each historical period from the 1970s to 1980s. In addition, the cultural identity of these levels is neither completely exclusive nor mutually consistent. There is the possibility of both conflict and collusion. Most importantly, through discussion based on literary geography, we found that such cultural identity and identity consciousness not only belongs to a certain group but is also present throughout Hong Kong society. This result not only reflects the novel authors’ observations on Hong Kong society, but to some extent also the cultural identity and identity problems faced by society.

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    Spatial Pattern and Industrial Development Characteristics of the Industrial Zone in Vietnam
    Hu Xuefeng, Wang Xingping, Zhao Sidong
    2019, 39 (6):  889-900.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003197
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    In the new era of globalization, China’s high-level openness and high-quality development led to a new round of industrial upgrading and spatial restructuring in the world under “the Belt and Road” initiative. Vietnam has become a new area of international capacity cooperation and industrial transfer and re-agglomeration. The industrial zone is the principal unit of Vietnam’s economic growth. It is also the key carrier of Sino-Vietnamese joint construction of “the Belt and Road” and deep implementation of productivity cooperation. The research on Vietnam’s industrial zones has attracted the attention of international and domestic scholars and shown rich achievements. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the spatial pattern, industrial differentiation, spatial production, and agglomeration mechanism of Vietnam’s industrial zones. By collecting and collating the basic data on Vietnam’s industrial zones using GIS, SPSS analysis technology, nuclear density analysis, exploratory spatial data analysis, correlation analysis, and other analysis methods, this paper analyzes the spatial distribution characteristics of Vietnam’s industrial areas and the characteristics of industrial agglomeration types and explores its formation mechanism. The results indicate that: 1) Vietnam’s industrial zone shows a significant spatial polarization distribution, with distribution of wings and depressions. 2) The characteristics of regional transportation orientation and socio-economic development orientation distribution in Vietnam’s industrial zones, historical reasons, natural topography, regional transportation facilities, planning guidance, and socio-economic conditions are the main factors affecting the spatial distribution of Vietnam’s industrial zones. 3) The industrial characteristics of Vietnam’s industrial zones show that the south wing is dominated by light industry, the north wing is dominated by processing heavy industry, and the central region is dominated by mining-type and raw material processing heavy industries. 4) The industrialization of Vietnam is late and low, which is the main reason for the formation of labor-intensive industries. The division of the north and south and the macro guidance of the government are the main reasons for the differences in the industrial structure of the south wing, north wing, and central region.

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    Investment Environment and Location Selection in Pakistan under the Background of “the Belt and Road”
    Dong Ye, Shi Xinqi
    2019, 39 (6):  901-910.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003190
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    The People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have made a joint statement establishing an all-weather strategic partnership between the two parties. Accordingly, Pakistan has become China’s only all-weather strategic partner. The China-Pakistan economic corridor, focusing on the industrial cooperation of energy sources and the transportation infrastructure of Gwadar Port, will be built into the major project of “the Belt and Road” initiative. “The Belt and Road” initiative and the China-Pakistan economic corridor have brought new opportunities for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Judging from its development trend, the investment space of Chinese enterprises in Pakistan is gradually expanding. The present paper focuses on effective location choices for Chinese enterprises in Pakistan. It first investigates the overall investment environment of Pakistan from 2000 to 2018, along the dimensions of basic competitiveness, core competitiveness, and auxiliary competitiveness. The average annual growth rate of the overall investment environment was determined as 36.05%, mostly contributed by the average annual growth rate of basic competitiveness (28.32%). Therefore, Pakistan’s investment environment is constantly improving, especially in the infrastructure industry which is a favored investment choice by Chinese enterprises. Second, the study investigates the locations of existing Chinese enterprises invested in Pakistan. Most of the investment projects of Chinese enterprises are located in Sindh and Punjab. Finally, the investment locations in the main provinces and cities are divided into four groups: economic centers, border areas, areas with close social connections, and areas with high security. Punjab and Sindh are economically viable economic centers, whereas Khyber-Pashtun Province and Gwadar Port are advantageous for border areas. Areas with close social connections are best located in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. Finally, Punjab and Sindh offer advantages of investment security. This paper is expected to provide a reference for Chinese enterprises choosing their future investment locations in Pakistan.

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    Combining the New North Policy of Korea with “the Belt and Road”: Opportunities and Challenges
    Pang Jiaxin, Wang Linggui
    2019, 39 (6):  911-918.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003192
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    Moon Jae-in, the President of the Republic of Korea, proposed the New North Policy (NNP) following his election. During his visit to China, he expressed a willingness to combine the NNP with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Song Young-gil, the first Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, paid a visit to Beijing afterwards to negotiate details with China. Currently, the circumstance on the Korean Peninsula is undergoing a dramatic change, providing an important opportunity for the combination of the NNP and BRI. Therefore, it is an appropriate time to discuss the content of the NNP and the progress of the combination of the NNP and BRI. The opportunities for bilateral combination consist of four major pillars: policy coordination, facility connectivity, unimpeded trade, and financial integration. However, challenges also exist, including institutional, geopolitical, and investment risks. It is necessary to take precautions against institutional risks and improve institutional cooperation mechanisms. In addition, potential risks should be avoided that may be caused by geographical factors, particularly fully considering the factors originating from the US. In terms of investment cooperation, strengthening cooperation mechanisms in construction and improving investment cooperation are necessary. However, third-party market cooperation could be integrated into “the Belt and Road” docking cooperation between China and South Korea, expanding the scope of the cooperation between the two countries in industry, finance, and logistics. Regarding third-party market cooperation, the cooperation mechanism between China and South Korea also needs to be clarified; that is, how the countries would clarify and divide their responsibilities and jointly perform effective construction and cooperation in third-party countries. In the future, China and South Korea will have greater development prospects in policy docking and third-party market cooperation.

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    Review and Prospects of a Study on International River Basin Organizations
    Zhang Yichi, Cao Hui, Chen Jianglong, Zheng Liyuan, An Zhao, Huang Dankui
    2019, 39 (6):  919-930.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003194
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    Conflict and cooperation are core issues in the study of international rivers. Increasingly more policy makers are in favor of an International River Basin Organization (IRBO) as a joint institutional arrangement, which is regarded as a guarantee of long-term cooperation over international rivers and can effectively reduce the occurrence of cooperative dilemma. However, the performance of IRBOs in different basins varies, leading to scholars' doubts regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of the institutional arrangement of IRBOs. Thus, increasingly more scholars have turned their attention to several questions including the following: “What characteristics does an IRBO show?” “How can feasible and effective river basin organization be established?” and “How can the performance of river basin organizations be evaluated?” China has a large number of international rivers, and the cooperation over these international rivers is an important starting point of China's neighborhood diplomacy. Nevertheless, research regarding the aforementioned problems has not received sufficient attention from domestic scholars. In this context, this study first reviews and determines the definitions and types of international river basin organizations and then focuses on the characteristics and effectiveness of their institutional design, noting the dilemmas of the existing research methods, and finally putting forward some suggestions on how IRBOs can promote international cooperation. First, one must integrate the evaluation indexes of the effectiveness of IRBOs and carry out an evaluation at a global scale. Traditional evaluation indicators may separate the natural process from the political process, or fail to organically unify the governance process and management results. Therefore, it is necessary to construct a set of popular evaluation index systems. Second, one must explore the scope and conditions applicable to the type of IRBO. Classifying IRBOs to determine the best matching conditions for each category has profound practical guidance for government management. Third, one must clarify the relationship between design features of an IRBO and their effectiveness. Before the role of policy guidance, whether the importance of institutional design features is consistent and the effectiveness of different institutional design features can be improved needs to be further researched. Fourth, one must explore a means to increase the effectiveness of IRBO from the perspective of process. The path of validity can be viewed from both micro and macro perspectives. The micro perspective attaches importance to the political process and institutional evolutionary process between the internal governance entities during emergence and development of IRBOs, while the macro perspective focuses on the interaction between IRBOs and other institutions. Next, one must adopt new methods beyond qualitative and quantitative research methods. A new method that requires only medium-scale samples beyond qualitative and quantitative research-the Qualitative Comparison Method (QCA)-may be able to solve the current difficulty in research methods. Finally, one must stimulate the cultural identity of member countries of IRBOs based on geo-civilization. An international river basin has a sense of cultural identity due to geopolitical civilization and its cultural power provides stability and durability.

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    Progress and Trends in Tourism Geopolitics
    Liu Yungang, Song Zongyuan
    2019, 39 (6):  931-941.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003200
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    With the development of global tourism, tourism has become a part of people's daily geopolitical practice; however, the study of tourism geopolitics tends to be ignored. The study of tourism geopolitics embodies tourism and geopolitics as its two main subjects. On the one hand, it helps to explain the powerful logic of tourism policy and analyzes the non-economic effects of tourism. On the other hand, it can also extend the research scope of geopolitics, making it more concrete. This study summarizes the existing related studies collected from Web of Science and CNKI. Based on the research scale relationship, namely the relationship between national and individual scales, this study holds that research on tourism geopolitics can be divided into two scale parts, national-national scale and national-individual scale, and one independent topic of geopolitical factors of tourism. Studies of national-national scale in tourism geopolitics consist of tourism and territorialization, tourism and world peace, and border tourism as three subtopics. The study of tourism and territorialization explains how tourism can be used as a territorialization tool such that the countries concerned can pursue political demand by utilizing it. The study of tourism and world peace illustrates debated topic that has been discussed for many years, i.e., whether or not tourism can promote world peace. The last topic, border tourism, is connected with geopolitics through three subtopics. Those are the means by which geopolitics shape a border landscape, the effect of border control policy upon border tourism, and the effect of particular geopolitical events upon tourism. The national-individual scale includes tourism and identity and tourism and geopolitical imagination as two subtopics. The former explains how tourism can influence tourists’ and inhabitants’ identity while the latter explains the mutual construction of tourism and geopolitical imagination using popular geopolitical scope. The independent topic, geopolitical factors of tourism, without an apparent research scale, explains the factors that may influence the development of tourism. The national-national scale research studies remain the main research scale in existing research but there are increasingly more research studies focused on an individual scale. This tendency parallels the entire research scale of geopolitics. This paper concludes by presenting four topics that can be studied in the future based on the analysis of existing tourism geopolitics studies. In the context of booming big data research, the first topic suggests a quantitative approach of measuring state-to-state relationships and then combines it with tourism research. The second offers a new perspective of using a visa regime to reflect the dynamic state-to-state relationship. The third regards tourism as an active geopolitical strategy and surveys how this strategy could impact the tourism industry, the international image of a country, and an individual’s identity. The last topic is a multi-scale study of border tourism that includes national-national, national-individual, and individual-individual scales.

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    Review of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment from a Relationship Perspective
    Zhou Zhengke, Liang Yutian, Zhou Keyang
    2019, 39 (6):  942-953.  doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003198
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    Through implementing the “Going Global” strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese enterprises are accelerating their integration into economic globalization. Although China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) has been widely researched at home and abroad, domestic economic geography studies on the FDI of Chinese multinational enterprises are still relatively few or have just begun. To digest this situation, the present article reviews the literature of FDI from a relationship perspective. We argue that while the traditional theory explains Chinese FDI to some extent, it cannot easily explain some unique characteristics of Chinese firms, such as weak ownership advantages, rapid internationalization, and dependence on social networks. Therefore, it must be supplemented with Chinese-specific variables. First, the review focuses on the formal relation networks based on contracts, emphasizing how political and economic relations have influenced Chinese enterprises’ FDIs. On the one hand, China’s political system environment differs from that of western countries, and Chinese enterprises’ FDI is largely influenced by the government. This influence is reflected not only in state-owned enterprises, but also in the location selections of private enterprises. Both types of enterprises must consider the political relations between China and the host country of the enterprise. On the other hand, wider economic cooperation often extends the relation network. As Chinese enterprises usually lack investment experience in overseas markets, they tend to invest in countries or regions with business interactivity (psychological proximity). Close economic relations are usually one of the most important affecters of Chinese enterprises’ FDI. Second, we highlight that Chinese FDI largely and uniquely depends on informal relation networks based on emotion and kinship. Although many studies have focused on the role of overseas Chinese networks in inward FDI in China, the role of such networks in outward FDI by Chinese enterprises, with China becoming a FDI exporter, has not been fully revealed. Moreover, overseas Chinese networks play different roles in different network relations, which also warrant further exploration. Finally, the review proposes research directions for Chinese enterprises’ outward FDI with Chinese characteristics: (1) Constructing a theoretical framework of FDI based on Chinese characteristics; (2) further exploring the FDI of Chinese enterprises from a relationship perspective, in terms of both formal and informal relation networks; and (3) FDI research from the perspective of ethnic relation networks, which remains unexplored.

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