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J. Robert Branston, Lauretta Rubini, Roger Sugden and James R. Wilson

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Marco R. Di Tommaso, Daniele Paci, Lauretta Rubini and Stuart O. Schweitzer

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Marco R. Di Tommaso, Chiara Pollio, Elisa Barbieri and Lauretta Rubini

China has acquired a key role in global manufacturing, becoming the center of global network of production. On the one hand, this position is the result of the planning and policy effort of the national government to promote growth and structural change. On the other hand, to achieve such results, the Chinese policy actors have deeply interacted with overseas capitals and interests, that entered the country and made use of its social, human, economic, policy and environmental resources to build some of the most important world hubs of production. The interplay between the Chinese (national, regional and local) governments and international interests has shaped the national mode of production of contemporary China. In this context, this chapter analyzes the story of growth and change of a number of manufacturing towns where the alliance between Chinese and global goals has clearly been successful. The authors focus on industrial towns that have been developed to become global production hubs, where huge quantities of manufactured goods are realized to respond to international demand. Some of the most successful towns – in terms of economic performance and global integration _ have seen a strong intervention of overseas capital and actors. The national and local governments’ actions have largely interacted with this production framework to plan and enhance industrial and economic performance, contributing to production efficiency, innovation, competitiveness and structural change.