Contentious Global Issues
Edited by H. S. Geyer
Chapter 5: Socialist Economies in Transition: Urban Policy in China and Vietnam
Y. M. Yeung and J. Shen
Y.M. Yeung and J. Shen Introduction China and Vietnam share a common characteristic in that they have experienced remarkable economic growth and urban transformation since opening up their economies after decades of strict socialism and self-imposed isolation. China reopened itself in 1978 and its breathtaking economic development and urban change have been widely documented (for example, Yeung and Chu, 1998, 2000; Ma and Wu, 2005). In China’s silent revolution, its cities have been playing catalytic roles in connecting local processes to globalization, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and spearheading socioeconomic change (Yeung and Hu, 1992; Yeung and Sung, 1996). Likewise, Vietnam opted for a policy of openness since 1986, through a process called Doi moi (meaning ‘economic restructuring’), a decade after the war of liberation ended. The pace of economic development and social modernization has ﬂuctuated over the years but has strongly rebounded since 1997. Vietnamese cities have been leading the country in a process of extraordinary change, with an annual economic growth rate of 7 per cent in the period 1993–2004, and at 8.4 per cent in 2005, second only to China. This chapter focuses on urban policy in China and Vietnam during the period of postreform development. First we will look at how China’s cities changed. Attention will then be devoted to urban policies related to urban areas, international links in the age of globalization, rural–urban migration in the context of social change and what challenges that poses to urban management. Finally, urban governance will be...
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