Whats territorial about China? from geopolitical narratives to the administrative area economy

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2013, 54 (1), pp. 57 - 77
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A human geographer and China specialist introduces perspectives on territory in China from the vantage of guowai (outside the country) and guonei (inside the country). This relational comparison extends analysis of Chinese geopolitical narratives to current questions about state power in China, and opens up the geopolitical perspective to recalibrate analysis of territory and territorial boundary formation inside the nation-state. Territorial change is particularly significant in China because subnational territories are not constitutionally guaranteed and state development strategies regularly depend on strategic boundary changes to form new governing spaces. The article introduces the concept of the "administrative area economy" from the Chinese literature to explain how the Chinese political economy crucially depends on reterritorialization to establish and promote contemporary urbanization and achieve political and economic goals. This analytical approach, based on the international scholarship and the Chinese-language literature, also reflects Agnews incorporation of methodological advances from new area studies in political geographical analysis. © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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