BEIJING: Humanistic City

In this volume, Beijing which is the capital city of the most populous country of the world has been examined in detail from a globalisation perspective.

BY Dr. FATIH EREN | APRIL 20, 2012


Beijing is located at the north of China. With its 19 million population, it is the second largest city of the country. Beijing is one of the four cities which the national government (Communist Party of China) controls directly in China. It is the political, cultural and educational centre of the country as well as a rich, well-developed and vibrant city.

Before focusing on Beijing specifically, let’s first look at the globalisation and liberalisation adventure of China.

China, which was involved in the United Nations (UN) in 1971, started its market-based economic reforms in 1978. The national government followed a mixed economy model (i.e. a mixture of the planned economy and the market economy) which was titled ‘market socialism’. After this date, economic reforms, capital formation and structural changes were carried on progressively and systematically by the government. Five-year development plans for the country and twenty-year master plans for Chinese cities were prepared; these plans were applied strictly. Particularly, master plans played a role to promote Chinese cities connecting with the global urban system, and supporting infrastructure for the development of the world’s factory (Chaolin,, 2010). China decided to be a member of many formal and informal international associations in this process such as World Trade Organisation (WTO), Asia-Pasific Economic Cooperation (APEC), BRICS, The Shangai Cooperation Organisation, G-20 and The Chinese-funded Africa Union (AU). As a result of all these efforts, the country became modernized; it has been integrated with the world economic system and its economy grew dramatically.

China was considered as ‘the factory of the world’ exactly after 1992 by global capitalists. Because of cheap land prices and labor market, open technology and product markets, many global companies established their manufacturing factories at the south-east coastal region of the country. Almost every kind of commodity (for example electronics, textiles, electric equipment, garment, leather products, metal products, transport equipments, chemicals, machinery, plastics) started to be produced for the world in the factories of China in the 1990s and the 2000s.

Foreign direct investment inflows increased regularly during the globalisation process in the country. In 2010, $105.7 million foreign direct capital entered in China where it was only $46.4 million in 2004. Global investors especially came from Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indenosia, Japan ve United States to China in the last 30 years (Ali and Guo, 2005).


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Published in Political Reflection Magazine (PR) Vol. 3  No. 2

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