Port - FEZ bundles as spaces of global articulation : the case of Tianjin, China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

22 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1487-1503
Journal / PublicationEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number8
Online published1 Aug 2006
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


The authors examine possible ways to enhance interdisciplinary dialogue between transport geography and economic geography, its parent discipline. In the context of emerging paradigms of global production seeking to capture the outsourcing process with developing countries, the port-free-trade zone bundle is suggested as a valid intersect between spaces of production and spaces of circulation. Such zones act as interfaces between local and global spaces: they are spaces of global articulation. A case study of how such global articulation spaces are created in China is presented from the example of the Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA). Evidence suggests that, as the world factory, China purposely set up port - FEZs (free economic zone) in pairs and the use of containerized transport has been highly restricted to port-related production places; hence a dualism has been created in China's transport. It is found that TEDA consists of a continuum of customs-regulated spaces which act as a transition zone between domestic and international 'status' commodities following a global production logic. At the same time, the creation of such enclaves consolidates a spatial 'splintering' effect that alienates such enclaves from their surroundings.