Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2008, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (2): 123-134.doi: 10.11821/xb200802002

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Regional Economic Disparities and Coordination of Economic Development in Coastal Areas of Southeastern China, 1995- 2005

WU Shidai, WANG Qiang   

  1. School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2007-06-07 Revised:2007-11-20 Online:2008-02-25 Published:2008-02-25
  • Supported by:

    Project of Science and Technology Department of Fujian Province, No.2004R12; Key Project of Human Geography from College of Geographical Science, Fujian Normal University


The coastal areas of southeastern China are the main force engine of China's economic growth. With its fast development, remarkable economic disparities occurred and along with the deepening of the reform and opening up policy in recent years, the economic disparities presented an expanding tendency. Based on 55 cities in the coastal areas of southeastern China during the period 1995-2005, this paper carried out a preliminary exploration of the changes in overall and partial spatial differences and the spatial pattern evolution, characteristics and causes. First, 1995-2005, the difference in the coastal areas of southeastern China at the level of economic development and the trend of the "polarization" are consistent, which proved that there exists a "polarization" phenomenon in southeastern coastal areas. Second, 1995-2003, the regional economic disparities in southeastern coastal areas continue to expand during this period. The economic disparities of the three major regions show a south-to-north gradual declining trend, indicating that such periodic changes in regional differences were mainly caused by the internal differences in Guangdong and Fujian. Since 2003, the economic differences in the southeastern coastal areas have been shrunk, and meanwhile the differences in the economic development of the three major regions also show a shrinking trend, which are the same as to the overall difference in the coastal areas of southeastern China , mainly due to the balanced development of the Yangtze River Delta region. Finally, the spatial evolution of the regional economy and regional economic differences are in the same line, corresponding to a "polarization → proliferation" phenomenon.

Key words: economic disparity, coastal areas of southeastern China, Cs, ESDA, temporal-spatial change