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The Dragon's Tail: Utilizing Chengdu and Chongqing Technology Development Zones to Anchor West China Economic Advancement


  • Susan M. Walcott


This research examines the role of post-1999 'Develop the West' policies in promoting accelerated economic development in Chengdu and Chongqing, the two largest, spatially proximate metropolitan centers of western China. Differences between these two cities test theories regarding utilization of characteristics that flow from a place's location, history, political-economy, and cultural resources. Chengdu serves as the traditional capital of Sichuan province. The mountainous setting of Chongqing relegated it to a military-industrial complex dominated by state-owned enterprises. Its new autonomous status and completion of the Three Gorges Dam will solidify the city as the western edge of the Yangtze. It is argued that geographically reinforced historical cultural patterns form the basis of systemic problems. A key difference between the two cities lies in their different utilization of university research, a proxy for openness to information fueling change. Statistics and interviews accumulated in both cities flesh out this comparative examination of two major geographical bases for economic dynamism in west China.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan M. Walcott, 2007. "The Dragon's Tail: Utilizing Chengdu and Chongqing Technology Development Zones to Anchor West China Economic Advancement," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 131-145.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:5:y:2007:i:2:p:131-145
    DOI: 10.1080/14765280701362422

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen Ying & Susan M. Walcott & Liu Jia, 2012. "Developing China's West: Producer services in metropolitan Xi'an," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 247-262, August.

    More about this item


    JEL Classifications: R12; R58;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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