Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (6): 956-969.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201606005

• Geopolitics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Study on the spatial-temporal evolution and internal mechanism of geo-economic connections of China

Wenlong YANG1,2(), Debin DU1,2(), Chengliang LIU1,2, Yahua MA2,3   

  1. 1. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. Institute for Innovation and Strategic Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 20062, China
    3. School of Business, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200235, China
  • Received:2015-09-29 Revised:2015-11-06 Online:2016-06-30 Published:2016-06-30
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471108]


The interdependence of economics among countries has been distinctly enhanced due to the end of the Cold War and the intensification of globalization. In terms of its content and form, geo-politics has shifted from a "high political area", which focuses on safety, to a "low political area", which emphasizes economics, making geo-economics the focus of the researches. Using tools including Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), Fragmentation Index and Revealed Comparative Advantage Index, this paper revealed China's evolutionary characteristics of geo-economic connections at the global scale, and explored its internal mechanism by grey relational analysis. The results show: (1) China's geo-economic connections have undergone 4 periods of "Inoculating - Sprouting - Rising - Flourishing", which were significantly correlated to economic development and the industrial restructuring. (2) Labor-intensive industry is currently dominant in China, but capital-intensive and technology-intensive industries are gradually developing, and the disadvantages of primary goods is prominent. (3) China's economic power is heterogeneous across space. The geo-economic connections could be identified as global powers' agglomeration and geographical proximity, but it became homogeneous through time and the diameter of economic power has continuously expanded. China has not only maintained stable geo-economic connections with developed countries like the United States of America, Japan and some European countries, but also strengthened connections with developing countries in Africa and South America. (4) Capital, technology and labor endowments are the main internal driving forces behind the spatial-temporal evolution of China's geo-economic connections, among which capital endowment is the key driving force, technology endowment is the important impetus and labor endowment is the fundamental advantage.

Key words: geo-economics, spatial-temporal evolution, production endowment, internal mechanism, Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), China