Port Cities and Trading Networks in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, 13th–21st Century
Chapter 12: Chinese Coastal Cities Confronting the Challenge of Globalisation
12. Chinese coastal cities confronting the challenge of globalisation Paralysed during the Pacific war, the main Chinese port cities subsequently experienced a long period of hibernation during the four decades that followed the takeover by the Communist Party in 1949. The open ports no longer existed. All the extraterritorial areas had been returned to China in 1945, and a different conception of the city, governed by administrative and political criteria, became prevalent under the communist authorities. This conception re-connected with certain components of the traditional Chinese city. Let us review its main characteristics. THE TWO PATTERNS OF CHINESE URBANISATION: ‘CENTRAL PLACES’ AND ‘NETWORKS OF CITIES’ What we usually refer to as a city has its origins in the medieval commune. This form of urban establishment appeared in northern Italy in the 11th century and quickly spread to France, Germany and the Netherlands. Weber and Pirenne, each in his own way, have described the characteristic traits that distinguish the city from earlier urban settlements, such as the burgh. To be considered as such, according to Weber, a city must have ‘fortifications, a market, a court of law, an area over which it has at least partially autonomous jurisdiction, some form of association and an administration elected by the burghers’.1 Pirenne, for his part, mentions the demands for autonomy on the part of the merchants, who sought personal freedom to come and go, that is freedom of movement; the benefits of special legislation that made it possible to escape the many different...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.