Institutions, Growth and Imbalances
Chapter 4: Industrial agglomeration in the process of globalization and regional economic development
As early as the Tang Dynasty, China had expanded its power into western Asia and Europe. At that time, because people usually traded by land, Chang’An was not only the ancient capital of the Tang Dynasty but also the communications hub of the Silk Road. China’s economic center moved from the north to the south during the Song Dynasty, and this pattern remains in place today. In the Ming Dynasty, Zheng He started his voyage to the West from China’s southeastern coastal areas, which could have helped China take the lead in the history of marine navigation in the world. However, a few years later, a blanket ban on maritime voyages subsequently hindered China’s naval progress. In 1978, after years of isolated and semi-isolated development, China reopened its doors. By then the pattern of international trade had already changed from land transportation to shipping by sea, which made China’s southeast coastal areas key to China’s economic opening-up. China’s economic development over the past 30 years has been a process of integration into the global system while making the most of its advantages, and constantly learning from the experiences of more-developed countries, and adopting useful technology. China’s experience indicates once again that in the era of economic globalization, pursuing economic development by maximizing global division of labor can facilitate economic take-off.
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