Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 1995, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (2): 185-191.doi: 10.11821/xb199502010

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Chen Cei   

  1. Department of Geography, Northeast Normal University Changchun 130024
  • Received:1994-06-01 Revised:1994-10-01 Online:1995-03-15 Published:1995-03-15

Abstract: The shift from central planning system to the socialist market economy in China creates many new study topics for the development of Chinese economic geography. Starting with the summarization of the discipline’s development in China. this paper analyzed the present situation and existing problems of the subject, discussed the ways to strengthen the researchs, and proposed the ways to promote the development of the subject with Chinese characteristics in the framework of socialist market economy.The development of Chinese economic geography in the past was mostly promoted by the requirements of social and economic growth of the stage, so many related theories concerning man-land relationship. location and regional development were characterized by the central planning economic system. The subject is now under the requirements of socialist market economy.There are mainly four problems. Firstly, the old theories belong to a sort of isolated or semi-isolated ones with little attention to outside world and international markets. Secondly, with the limitation of central planning system, the past studies did scarcely in analyzing the dynamic powers of spatial economy and the fundamental roles of markets for resource allocation. Thirdly, the previous research of economic geography was lack of enough notice to the dynamic function of economic activities and resulted in the fact that economic geographers could not take part in the policy-making and management actions in many regional development programs. And lastly, the previous studies often laid too much stress on the theoretical rationalization of development programs but less on their operational possibility for the lack of the analysis of the practical situations of China as well as the real regional development demands.Based on the above understanding of the problems limiting the development of the discipline, under new situation, some efforts should be made to improve the subject. Firstly, economic geographers should widen their eye views by making further understanding of the basic theory and dynamics of socialist market economy. Their study should not only cover the traditional material-processing activities but also the tertiary industries. Markets should be the focus of their concerns. especially the situation of world economy and international markets. At the same time, regional investment environment and the ways to absorb investment should also be placed on an important position in the studies of production allocation. In addition, subjects related to micro-economic activities such as business actions and village industries are becoming new tasks for economic geographers. In general. economic geography should be a discipline not only for the planning of regional development but also for the policy-making and management of the development programs. Secondly, some theories. formed under central planning system, such as those on man-land relationship, production allocation, economic regionalization, territorial production complexes, location and regional development are needed to be examined and edited with new views under the requirements of socialist market economy in order to make them work well for the better application of the subject. Thirdly, to advance the subject to be the one with Chinese characteristics, Chinese economic geographers should make more efforts in some respects. That means to make better understanding of the real situations of China and the provincial regions which is the base of developing the discipline, to take part in more practical economic activities, to try to join in policy-making and management actions actively and to develop and modify the theories of the discipline.

Key words: economic geography, socialist market economy, development and problems, new subjects of study

CLC Number: 

  • F120.4