Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (8): 1904-1919.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202308004

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

China's regional economic development and policy system evolution: A three-dimensional analysis framework based on dynamic perspective

XIA Tian1(), XIA Ying1, LIU Xiaoyu2, SUN Jiuwen3   

  1. 1. Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Institute of Western China Economic Research, Chengdu 610074, China
    2. Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, School of International Business, Chengdu 610074, China
    3. Renmin University of China, School of Applied Economics, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2022-06-09 Revised:2023-03-07 Online:2023-08-25 Published:2023-08-15
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(72274158);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071155)


Despite the initial development goals achieved, China's macro-economy is still deeply affected by the external environment and stuck in its own structure at the same time. In retrospect, not until 1949 with the founding of the People's Republic of China did China's budding regional economy witness the prominence of a fixed development pattern shifting from a spontaneous to an actuating one. After comparing the three regional economic practices, this paper finds that each development stage has its corresponding development strategy. At the same time, several development patterns, namely, the coastal and inland areas, the three regions, and four plates were formed accordingly. Furthermore, through combing the literature and historical facts, this paper determines the historical starting point, division criteria and division scheme of China's regional economic development before summarizing three main lines and also contradictions therein: the government-market relations against the background of market reform, the coastal-inland relations against the tide of economic zonation, and the urban-rural relations against the trend of urbanization. Based on the above, the paper constructs a three-dimensional model out of the spatio-termporal process of China's regional development before proposing new historical stages from the perspective of economic system modernization. These historical stages are: industrial economy, special zone economy, district economy, regional economy and urban network economy. Finally, from the urbanization angle, this paper concludes that for different urbanization stages, regional policies should be industrial policies, factor policies, fiscal and tax policies sequentially.

Key words: policy system evolution, regional developing stage, regional coordinated development, new-type urbanization, China