Chapter 4: The waking giant: China’s development trajectory
By contrast to Japan, China was a nation rich in natural resources at the outset of reform. China contains resources such as coal, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury. China is also large in geographical area, and is about the size of the United States, although China is more mountainous. The nation has a long coastline, while the western region is landlocked. Elevation rises to the west of the Aihui–Tengchong line; therefore, much of the population lives to the east of this line, where far more of the land is arable (Naughton 2007). China (Figure 4.1) is divided into 31 administrative divisions, with 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 4 municipalities under direct control of the central government. Western provinces face barriers to development due to their geography, including lack of access to transportation and water, as well as lack of access to energy resources in the south-west, and poor agricultural climate in the north-west. Much of China’s development has taken place in the eastern coastal region, which through its waterborne shipping routes has easy access to foreign markets.