Regional governance of port development in China : a case study of Shanghai International Shipping Center

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

52 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-373
Journal / PublicationMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


When China enters the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and becomes more involved in the global economy, her major seaports will be pivotal places where the international shipping and terminal operators interact, conflict and co-operate with the local and the central governments. To demonstrate and understand these interactions, this article analyzes the case of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), where the competition, co-operation and governance of Shanghai and Ningbo, the two largest ports on Chinese mainland, concern all stakeholders from the central and local governments of China to the container terminal operators and shipping lines overseas. 
This paper first develops a conceptual framework for analyzing port development in a regional context. The article then introduces the case of the Shanghai International Shipping Center with a focus on the efforts of the Shanghai Government to establish a regional hub port, which also involves two nearby provinces. This case study reveals the course of the decision-making processes and the power networks currently governing the port development in the YRD. Two domains of port governance are discussed: the role of port authorities in port internal governance, and the crucial influences of local and central governments on the port external governance. It provides evidence that the power of shipping lines and international terminal operators are not as prevalent as in many ports in western countries. It is suggested that the lack of good regional port governance in the region is due to structural problems in administration.