Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (10): 1731-1745.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201710001

• Regional and Industrial Geography •     Next Articles

The spatial disparity and impact mechanism of geo-economy in the border areas of China

Tao SONG1,2(), Yi CHENG1,3(), Weidong LIU1, Hui LIU1,4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Collaborative Innovation Center for Geopolitical Setting of Southwest China and Borderland Development, Kunming 650500, China
    3. Town Planning & Research Institute, CADG, Beijing 100044, China;
    4. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-11-16 Revised:2017-03-05 Online:2017-11-10 Published:2017-11-06
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41701131, No.41530634, No.41530751;Key Consulting Project of the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology Strategic Consulting, No.Y02015001;Project of Featured Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research Cultivation, CAS, NO.Y55R1203YZ


The border region is of great significance for national security and external economic development. In the context of complex geopolitical environment, it is urgent to conduct a deep analysis of the geo-economic cooperation and its impact mechanism for accelerating development in China's border areas. On the basis of the comprehensive analysis of the frontier geo-economic theory, the framework of geo-economic analysis is built up in this paper, including three major categories of indicators: local economy, export-oriented economy, and local economic development. This paper systematically depicts the geo-economic development and its evolution in China's border areas. By using the GeogDetector, the mechanism of spatial disparity is also analyzed. It is found that the level of geo-economic development in border areas is generally stable, with obvious spatial differentiation. The absolute advantage position of geo-economy in Northeast China has gradually in a decline, while the advanced areas are highly dispersed geographically. The growth poles for geo-economic development include the Mudanjiang in Northeast China, Baotou in Inner Mongolia of North China, Bortala Mongolia Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang of Northwest China, Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan of Southwest China, as well as Chongzuo in Guangxi of South China. The geo-economy of the border areas are mainly influenced by the national policies, the development level of its neighbors, as well as the willingness on bilateral trade. National policies, traffic accessibility, and cultural proximity have significantly affected the geo-economic performance. Among them, the geo-economic performances of Inner Mongolia and Tibet are mainly affected by the development of neighboring countries, the northeast region and Xinjiang are mainly affected by policy supports, while Guangxi and Yunnan are affected by comprehensive factors. Finally, this paper puts forward policy suggestions and implications for geo-economic development in China's border areas in the complex geographical environment.

Key words: border areas, geo-politics, geo-economy, GeogDetector, the belt and road initiative, China