Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (8): 1093-1108.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201408006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The development of Chinese economic geography:A review on papers published in Acta Geographica Sinica from 1934 to 2013

Xiaojian LI1,2(), Xinsheng FAN1, Qing LUO1   

  1. 1. School of Resources and Environment, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou 450002, China
    2. Key Center of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainabke Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
  • Received:2014-06-09 Revised:2014-07-20 Online:2014-08-20 Published:2014-08-20


Papers published in Acta Geographica Sinica are academically regarded as of high quality, speciality and practice-oriented studies. Reviewing these papers can help us better sketch the contours of the development of economic geography in China. This article examined 421 economic geography papers published in Acta Geographica Sinica from 1934 to 2013 based on the number of papers, evolution tracks, research paradigm, topics, and the development of sub-disciplines, and concluded that economic geography research in China has made considerable progress. But this progress remains uneven among sub-disciplines of economic geography. It has shown a close link to new issues in economic development, changing from studies on economic growth to sustainable development, from studies pertinent to nature elements to those pertinent to anthropogenic elements, and the study areas having shifted from industries providing tangible goods to economic activities on services aspects. Sub-disciplines focused on regional, industrial, and agricultural studies before the 1980s, while a growing number of papers have since then been published on transportation, service industries, and urban studies. Research ideas in the 80 years originated from various sources, leading to research by using multiple spatial scales and dynamic quantificational methods. In summary, Chinese economic geographical research has always stood close to the nation's requirements, leaning towards macro studies, economic growth, and practical characteristics. However, studies at the micro scale, with comprehensive features and theoretical deductions are emerging increasingly.

Key words: China, economic geography, Acta Geographica Sinica, research progress