New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Philip Cooke, Mario Davide Parrilli and José Luis Curbelo
Philip Cooke and Fangzhu Zhang INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we will study the role of China in stimulating global change in two distinct ways. The first, which appears in the second section, refers to aspects of China’s engagement in the highly globalised information and communications technology (ICT) industry. This account briefly explores the manner in which China, or rather leading Chinese or Chinesebased non-western firms like Huawei, not only penetrate western markets but also base themselves in western research and development (R&D) locations as these are vacated through competitiveness failures. There follows a section based on an account of a large industrial platform which embodies ICT and other applications (for example, batteries) in ‘green’ technologies like solar energy, light emitting diode (LED) lighting, electric vehicles, renewable energy, construction and the design of eco-cities. This signifies recognition in China that critiques from the West about excessive fossil fuel emissions in China and the contribution these make to global warming has some practical purchase. As China seeks to evolve rapidly away from its ‘world factory’ reputation, its success in innovating a significant ‘green technology’ platform will decide whether it is willing and able to make a global contribution to the environment’s ‘long emergency’ domestically, and if by so doing it creates new, more affordable, means whereby the world may follow suit in the years to come. In the first section attention is devoted to three complementary theoretical perspectives that seek to explain transition in the dominant production regime fuelling market-led development...
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