The Pan-Pearl River Delta Region and Hong Kong under the Eleventh Five-year Plan Research Series: X. Guangxi and Hong Kong
Guangxi is an autonomous region in southwestern China. Its coastal location bordering Vietnam, however, did not contribute much to economic growth and social development in the province. For historical reasons and because of previous tensions in international relationships, Guangxi lagged behind other coastal provinces such as Guangdong and Fujian. With the advent of the twenty-first century, however, its locational disadvantage has gradually turned into an advantage. Guangxi has benefited from the policy of Western Development in China, as well as the establishment of the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD)region and the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. In short, Guangxi has entered a stage of rapid development.
During the period of the 11th Five-year Plan, Guangxi should capitalize on timely developments and locational advantages to speed up its urban and regional development. The proper positioning of its cities, better provision of infrastructure, the shift of industrial activities from eastern China, and greater access to international markets could foster the development of large and medium-sized cities in Guangxi, and the effects of this could spread throughout the province. In addition, improved coordination and division of labour among cities could lead to the formation of urban clusters and/or urban regions. Finally, in the wake of the national strategy of regional development to promote the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Pan-Beibu Gulf (Pan-Tonkin Gulf), and the construction of economic corridors, Guangxi could well reinstate its role as a “bridgehead” for the China-ASEAN market. It is entirely possible for various regional cooperation frameworks on different scales and at different levels to be located in Guangxi in the foreseeable future.
At the same time, Guangxi is assuming priority in the development of the PPRD region. The closer the cooperation between Guangxi and Hong Kong, a dragon head of the PPRD region, the better both places will be able to develop, along with the entire PPRD region. At present, the construction of highways and other infrastructure projects provides the basic physical linkage in support of their cooperation. What needs to be done in the mean time is to further their physical linkages and deepen their respective regional policies. Possible projects for cooperation should be identified and innovations introduced into their mechanisms for cooperation. In this way, the Guangxi-Hong Kong relationship will enter a new stage of development.