Pearl River Delta

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pages: 473 words: 154,182

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn

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carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, Google Earth, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, intermodal, Isaac Newton, means of production, microbiome, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, post-Panamax, profit motive, Skype, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman

He’d just need a few weeks’ notice to set everything up. Dongguan, I learned, is an industrial town in the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, an alluvial maze of factories and shipping routes radiating outward into Guangdong Province from Hong Kong. The Pearl River Delta is mainly what people have in mind when they talk about China’s “economic miracle.” Newspapers often refer to it as “the workshop of the world,” a phrase, first applied to England in the nineteenth century, that has in the twenty-first century drifted east. The iPod is manufactured in the Pearl River Delta, and so is Chicken Dance Elmo. So are most of the cheap, ubiquitous goods labeled MADE IN CHINA that we Americans buy. Although, reading the newspaper, I tended to imagine the Pearl River Delta as a polluted wasteland where workers toiled miserably away in dark Satanic mills, not all my Pearl River dreams were bad ones.

In Shenzhen, known as the Overnight City because of the speed with which it sprouted up, mushroomlike, out of the rice paddies and fishing towns that preceded it, the annual growth rate in some years surpassed 30 percent. Despite recent competition from Beijing and Shanghai, the Pearl River Delta remains China’s most productive region. Home to just 3 percent of the country’s population, it nonetheless accounts for more than 25 percent of China’s foreign trade. The late Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong once described the Pearl River Delta as “a store at the front and a factory in the back.” Hong Kong is the store; Guangdong Province is the factory. Journeying from the one to the other, I imagined, would be like traveling upstream toward the headwaters of my material universe. The Toys & Games Fair, where buyers from Western toy companies come to find Chinese suppliers, seemed like a good place to start.

Instead, when my turn comes, the customs officer glances once at my face, stamps my passport with the bored, silent efficiency of a grocery store cashier, and sends me on my way, to meet up with Henry Tong. It might be different elsewhere in China, but here in the Pearl River Delta the entropy of the marketplace has overwhelmed much of the bureaucratic order, for better and for worse. The crime rates in some of the Delta’s boomtowns, among the highest in China, are almost downright American, and so, almost, are the freedoms.22 If anything, it’s piratical capitalists not bureaucratic Communists that one has to worry most about in the Pearl River Delta.23 The previous June, when a business correspondent for the New York Times paid a surprise visit to the RC2 Industrial Park in Dongguan that had produced those leaded toy trains, a factory boss held him hostage for several hours, refusing to surrender him even after government officials arrived to negotiate his release.


pages: 419 words: 125,977

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang

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anti-communist, Deng Xiaoping, estate planning, financial independence, index card, invention of writing, job-hopping, land reform, Mason jar, mass immigration, new economy, Pearl River Delta, risk tolerance, special economic zone

Two decades after the first factories were built, development still feels new. The innards of a mountain spill out, red-earthed and raw, where its face was blasted away; exit ramps off the highway disappear in fields of marshy weeds. A brand-new corporate headquarters looks out on rice paddies, fishponds, and duck farms; miraculously, people are still farming here. In the seventeenth century, settlers turned the floodplains of the Pearl River Delta into one of China’s most fertile regions, supplying fish, vegetables, and rice to the country and exporting silk to Europe. Today in the land of full-throttle industry, it is these glimpses of nature that are unsettling. The farmers are mostly migrants, the lowest of the low, for they have traveled a thousand miles from home but have still not left the farm behind. The bus slows for the Dongguan exit, and now the factories appear up close.

Before they went out from home, the two girls had made a pact: If jobs at the first factory fell through, they would go straight home. But when jobs at the first factory fell through, they stayed. They had come to the city, and already they were changed. I MET YONGXIA AND DALI on my second day in town. It was a hot February morning, the sky bleached a dingy white and the air humming with heat and motorcycle exhaust; in the Pearl River Delta, summer would begin in another month. I took the girls to a noodle shop and ordered Cokes. They sipped them carefully through straws as they told me the story of how they had left home. I explained that I was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Yongxia turned my business card over and over, mulling its unfamiliar Beijing address. “Can we write you letters?” she said suddenly. “We miss our mothers.

The network-sales model was ideally suited to a Chinese society in which traditional morality had broken down and only the harshest rules—trust no one, make money fast—still applied. The companies relied on traditional networks of extended family and friends; the first thing a chuanxiao salesman usually did was to browbeat every friend and relative into buying something. They promised wealth and fulfillment. And they offered a clear road map to success: Get to know three people a day. The industry flourished in the small towns and migrant communities of the Pearl River Delta. Here where rural and urban worlds met, people envied the success of others and were hungry to have it themselves. If someone they knew promised instant wealth and a miracle cure, they were easily swayed. The rise of chuanxiao companies worried the central government. Some of the companies traded in fake, smuggled, or shoddy goods; their training meetings, where charismatic leaders drove members into an evangelical selling frenzy, came to look disturbingly similar to cults.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

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Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Hong Kong developed its functions as a global business center. 3 However, Hong Kong’s manufacturing exports capacity did not fade away: it simply modified its industrial organization and its spatial location. In about ten years, between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, Hong Kong’s industrialists induced one of the largest- scale processes of industrialization in human history in the small towns of the Pearl River Delta. By the end of 1994, Hong Kong investors, often using family and village connections, had established in the Pearl River Delta 10,000 joint ventures and 20,000 processing factories, in which were working about 6 million workers, depending upon various estimates. Much of this population, housed in company dormitories in semi-rural locations, came from surrounding provinces beyond the borders of Guandong. This gigantic industrial system was being managed on a daily basis from a multilayered managerial structure, based in Hong Kong, regularly traveling to Guangzhou, with production runs being supervised by local managers throughout the rural area.

For Emma Kiselyova-Castells, without whose love, work, and support this book would not exist Figures 2.1 Productivity growth in the United States, 1995–1999 2.2 Estimate of evolution of productivity in the United States, 1972–1999 93 2.3 Growth in trade and capital flows, 1970–1995 2.4 Goods in international trade by level of technological intensity, 1976/1996 2.5 Foreign direct investment 2.6 Cross-border mergers and acquisitions, 1992–1997 2.7 Export shares 2.8 Share of growth from high-tech sector in the United States, 1986–1998 2.9 Declining dividends payments 4.1 Percentage of the United States’ population that is foreign-born, 1900–1994 4.2 Total fertility rates for nationals and foreigners in selected OECD countries 4.3 Index of employment growth by region, 1973–1999 4.4 Part-time workers in employed labor force in OECD countries, 1983–1998 4.5 Self-employed workers in employed labor force in OECD countries, 1983–1993 4.6 Temporary workers in employed labor force in OECD countries, 1983–1997 4.7 Non-standard forms of employment in employed labor force in OECD countries, 1983–1994 4.8 Employment in the temporary help industry in the United States, 1982–1997 4.9 Percentage of working-age Californians employed in “traditional” jobs, 1999 4.10 Distribution of working-age Californians by “traditional” job status and length of tenure in the job, 1999 4.11 The Japanese labor market in the postwar period 4.12 Annual growth of productivity, employment, and earnings in OECD countries, 1984–1998 5.1 Media sales in 1998 for major media groups 5.2 Strategic alliances between media groups in Europe, 1999 5.3 Internet hosts, 1989–2006 5.4 Internet CONE and country code domain names by city worldwide, July 1999 5.5 Internet CONE and country code domain names by city in North America, July 1999 5.6 Internet CONE and country code domain names by city in Europe, July 1999 5.7 Internet CONE and country code domain names by city in Asia, July 1999 6.1 Largest absolute growth in information flows, 1982 and 1990 6.2 Exports of information from the United States to major world regions and centers 6.3 System of relationships between the characteristics of information technology manufacturing and the industry’s spatial pattern 6.4 The world’s largest urban agglomerations (>10 million inhabitants in 1992) 6.5 Diagrammatic representation of major nodes and links in the urban region of the Pearl River Delta 6.6 Downtown Kaoshiung 6.7 The entrance hall of Barcelona airport 6.8 The waiting room at D.E. Shaw and Company 6.9 Belleville, 1999 6.10 Las Ramblas, Barcelona, 1999 6.11 Barcelona: Paseo de Gracia 6.12 Irvine, California: business complex 7.1 Labor force participation rate (%) for men 55–64 years old in eight countries, 1970–1998 7.2 Ratio of hospitalized deaths to total deaths (%), by year, 1947–1987, in Japan 7.3 War deaths relative to world population, by decade, 1720–2000 Tables 2.1 Productivity rate: growth rates of output per worker 2.2 Productivity in the business sector 2.3 Evolution of the productivity of business sectors 2.4 Evolution of productivity in sectors not open to free trade 2.5 Evolution of US productivity by industrial sectors and periods 2.6 Cross-border transactions in bonds and equities, 1970–1996 2.7 Foreign assets and liabilities as a percentage of total assets and liabilities of commercial banks for selected countries, 1960–1997 2.8 Direction of world exports, 1965–1995 2.9 Parent corporations and foreign affiliates by area and country 2.10 Stocks valuation, 1995–1999 4.1 United States: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1920–1991 4.2 Japan: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1920–1990 4.3 Germany: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1925–1987 4.4 France: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1921–1989 4.5 Italy: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1921–1990 4.6 United Kingdom: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1921–1992 4.7 Canada: percentage distribution of employment by industrial sector and intermediate industry group, 1921–1992 4.8 United States: employment statistics by industry, 1920–1991 4.9 Japan: employment statistics by industry, 1920–1990 4.10 Germany: employment statistics by industry, 1925–1987 4.11 France: employment statistics by industry, 1921–1989 4.12 Italy: employment statistics by industry, 1921–1990 4.13 United Kingdom: employment statistics by industry, 1921–1990 4.14 Canada: employment statistics by industry, 1921–1992 4.15 Occupational structure of selected countries 4.16 United States: percentage distribution of employment by occupation, 1960–1991 4.17 Japan: percentage distribution of employment by occupation, 1955–1990 4.18 Germany: percentage distribution of employment by occupation, 1976–1989 4.19 France: percentage distribution of employment by occupation, 1982–1989 4.20 Great Britain: percentage distribution of employment by occupation, 1961–1990 4.21 Canada: percentage distribution of employment by occupation, 1950–1992 4.22 Foreign resident population in Western Europe, 1950–1990 4.23 Employment in manufacturing by major countries and regions, 1970–1997 4.24 Employment shares by industry/occupation and ethnic/gender group of all workers in the United States, 1960–1998 4.25 Information technology spending per worker (1987–1994), employment growth (1987–1994), and unemployment rate (1995) by country 4.26 Main telephone lines per employee (1986 and 1993) and Internet hosts per 1,000 population (January 1996) by country 4.27 Men’s and women’s employment ratios, 15–64 years old, 1973–1998 4.28 Percentage of standard workers in the chuki koyo system of Japanese firms 4.29 Concentration of stock ownership by income level in the United States, 1995 7.1 Annual hours worked per person, 1870–1979 7.2 Potential lifelong working hours, 1950–1985 7.3 Duration and reduction of working time, 1970–1987 7.4 Principal demographic characteristics by main regions of the world, 1970–1995 7.5 Total fertility rates of some industrialized countries, 1901–1985 7.6 First live births per 1,000 women by age group of mother (30–49 years) and by race in the United States, 1960 and 1990 7.7 Comparisons of infant mortality rates, selected countries, 1990–1995 (estimates) Preface to the 2010 Edition of The Rise of the Network Society We live in confusing times, as is often the case in periods of historical transition between different forms of society.

In the United States, in 2005, the Urban Land Institute defined 10 megalopolitan areas housing 68 percent of the American population. Yet, the largest metropolitan regions in the world are in Asia. The largest one, which I identified early in the first edition of this volume, is a loosely connected region that extends from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, incorporating the manufacturing villages of the Pearl River Delta, the booming city of Shenzhen, on the Hong Kong border, and the adjacent areas of Zhuhai and Macau, each one with a distinctive economy and polity, fully interdependent with the other components of this South China metropolitan region, with a population of approximately 60 million people. This prefigures the megapolitan future of China. These metropolitan regions constitute the heart of the new, increasingly globalized China, the manufacturing power house of the world in the twenty-first century.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Deindustrialisation of older production centres occurred everywhere from Pittsburgh’s, Sheffield’s and Essen’s steel industry to Mumbai’s textile industry. This was paralleled by an astonishing spurt in the industrialisation of entirely new spaces in the global economy, particularly those with specific resource or organisational advantages – Taiwan, South Korea, Bangladesh and the special production zones such as Mexico’s maquiladoras (tax-free assembly plants) or the export platforms created in China’s Pearl River delta. Global shifts in production capacity accompanied by highly competitive technological innovations, many of which were labour-saving, contributed further to the disciplining of global labour. The United States still retained immense financial power, even as it lost its earlier dominance (though not significance) in the realm of production. Increasingly, the US relied upon the extraction of rents, either on the basis of its advantages in technological and financial innovation or from intellectual property rights.

Compact industrial centres with names like Manchester and Birmingham were linked with each other and to the main commercial port cities of Bristol and Liverpool, as well as to the teeming capital city of London, by threads of dirt turnpikes and skinny slivers of canals. Barges full of coal and raw materials were laboriously towed along the canals either by sweating horses or, as Marx records in Capital, by almost starving women. Locomotion was slow. Flying over the Pearl River delta in 1980, one would have seen tiny villages and towns with names like Shenzhen and Dongguan nestled in a largely self-sufficient agrarian landscape of rice, vegetable, livestock production and fish farming, socialised into communes ruled with an iron fist by local party officials who were also carrying an ‘iron rice bowl’ to guard against the threat of starvation. Flying over both these areas in 2008, the landscapes of sprawling urbanisation below would be totally unrecognisable, as would be the forms of production and transportation, the social relations, the technologies, the ways of daily life and the forms of consumption on the ground.

Indeed, we can reconceptualise crisis formation in terms of the tensions and antagonisms that arise between the different activity spheres as, for example, new technologies play against the desire for new configurations in social relations or disrupt the organisation of existing labour processes. But instead of examining these spheres sequentially as we did earlier in the analysis of capital circulation, we now think of them as collectively co-present and co-evolving within the long history of capitalism. In a given society at a particular point in space and time – Britain in 1850, or the Pearl River delta of China now, say – we can define its general character and condition largely in terms of how these seven spheres are organised and configured in relation to each other. Something can also be said about the likely future development of the social order in such places given the tensions and contradictions between the activity spheres, even as it is recognised that the likely evolutionary dynamic is not determinant but contingent. ——— Capital cannot circulate or accumulate without touching upon each and all of these activity spheres in some way.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

In the summer of 2014, while traveling around the Pearl River delta region of southern China—a loop from Guangzhou via Zhongshan to Zhuhai and Macau and up the eastern side via Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Dongguan—I witnessed firsthand how a country’s economic master plan is as important as its military grand strategy. In 1990, a decade after China’s opening to the world economy, primary industries such as agriculture, mining, and fishing represented 27 percent of its economy, while secondary sectors such as manufacturing and construction were 40 percent, and the tertiary sector of services (retail, transportation, health care, tourism, and others) was only 30 percent. By 2010, agriculture had fallen to 10 percent, and manufacturing had risen to 46 percent and services to 44 percent. A tour around the Pearl River delta reveals some of the most novel strategies in combining urbanization, SEZs, and innovation to breed megacities that become pillars of innovation and growth.

Linked by the dual highway-railway Øresund Bridge, the economies of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, and Sweden’s Malmö have become so connected that many now refer to them as KoMa. Copenhagen airport is now closer for Malmö residents than their own, and Swedish taxis have their own stands there. Baltic nations tried to form an entente shortly after World War I but were split by Soviet expansionism. A century later, the much larger Baltic Union has emerged from Norway to Lithuania and is directly connected to western Europe by the Øresund Bridge. In China’s Pearl River delta—where cities such as Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai have very different legal arrangements with Beijing—a Y-shaped bridge (over artificial islands and through a six-kilometer tunnel) set to open in 2017 will connect all three cities, cutting the passage across the southern mouth of the delta from four hours to one hour. The entire delta region is becoming one giant urban archipelago despite differences in political status.

The population of the greater Mexico City region is larger than that of Australia, as is that of Chongqing, a collection of connected urban enclaves spanning an area the size of Austria. Cities that were once hundreds of kilometers apart have now effectively fused into massive urban archipelagoes, the largest of which is Japan’s Taiheiyo Belt that encompasses two-thirds of Japan’s population in the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka megalopolis. China’s Pearl River delta, Greater São Paulo, and Mumbai-Pune are also becoming more integrated through infrastructure. At least a dozen such megacity corridors have emerged already. China is in the process of reorganizing itself around two dozen giant megacity clusters of up to 100 million citizens each.*3 And yet by 2030, the second-largest city in the world behind Tokyo is expected not to be in China but to be Manila.


pages: 230 words: 71,320

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, corporate raider, crew resource management, medical residency, old-boy network, Pearl River Delta, popular electronics, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, union organizing, upwardly mobile, why are manhole covers round?

[sound of groans] 1:42:30:54. [sound of tone] END OF RECORDING Outliers, The Story of Success CHAPTER EIGHT Rice Paddies and Math Tests “NO ONE WHO CAN RISE BEFORE DAWN THREE HUNDRED SIXTY DAYS A YEAR FAILS TO MAKE HIS FAMILY RICH.” Outliers, The Story of Success 1. The gateway to the industrial heartland of Southern China runs up through the wide, verdant swath of the Pearl River Delta. The land is covered by a thick, smoggy haze. The freeways are crammed with tractor trailers. Power lines crisscross the landscape. Factories making cameras, computers, watches, umbrellas, and T-shirts stand cheek by jowl with densely packed blocks of apartment buildings and fields of banana and mango trees, sugarcane, papaya, and pineapple destined for the export market. Few landscapes in the world have changed so much in so short a time.

By the time lahp cheun (the “turning of the spring”) came, you were back in the fields at dawn. Working in a rice field is ten to twenty times more labor-intensive than working on an equivalent-size corn or wheat field. Some estimates put the annual workload of a wet-rice farmer in Asia at three thousand hours a year. Outliers, The Story of Success 4. Think, for a moment, about what the life of a rice farmer in the Pearl River Delta must have been like. Three thousand hours a year is a staggering amount of time to spend working, particularly if many of those hours involve being bent over in the hot sun, planting and weeding in a rice paddy. What redeemed the life of a rice farmer, however, was the nature of that work. It was a lot like the garment work done by the Jewish immigrants to New York. It was meaningful. First of all, there is a clear relationship in rice farming between effort and reward.

Second, and perhaps more important, what happens in the north of China, which isn't a wet-rice agriculture society but historically a wheat-growing culture, much like Western EuropeAre they good at math tooThe short answer is that we don't know. The psychologist James Flynn points out, though, that the overwhelming majority of Chinese immigrants to the Westthe people who have done so well in math hereare from South China. The Chinese students graduating at the top of their class at MIT are the descendants, chiefly, of people from the Pearl River Delta. He also points out that the lowest achieving Chinese Americans are the so-called Sze Yap people, who come from the edges of the Delta, “where soil was less fertile and agriculture less intense.” + There is actually a significant scientific literature measuring Asian “persistence.” In a typical study, Priscilla Blinco gave large groups of JapaneseandAmericanfirstgradersaverydifficultpuzzleandmeasured how long they worked at it before they gave up.


pages: 318 words: 85,824

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, debt deflation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, labour market flexibility, land tenure, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Chicago School, transaction costs, union organizing, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

Competition of this sort heightened in the more fluid and open systems of trading relations established after 1970. The general progress of neoliberalization has therefore been increasingly impelled through mechanisms of uneven geographical developments. Successful states or regions put pressure on everyone else to follow their lead. Leapfrogging innovations put this or that state (Japan, Germany, Taiwan, the US, or China), region (Silicon Valley, Bavaria, Third Italy, Bangalore, the Pearl River delta, or Botswana), or even city (Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai, or Munich) in the vanguard of capital accumulation. But the competitive advantages all too often prove ephemeral, introducing an extraordinary volatility into global capitalism. Yet it is also true that powerful impulses of neoliberalization have emanated, and even been orchestrated, from a few major epicentres. Clearly, the UK and the US led the way.

They are putting the finishing touches on a vast, entirely new annex city that they hope will draw 300,000 engineers and researchers, the vanguard of a new China’.18 It is also the site of construction for what is slated to be the largest shopping mall in the world (built by a Chinese billionaire, it has seven zones modelled on Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Venice, Egypt, the Caribbean, and California, each constructed with such close attention to detail as to be indistinguishable, we are told, from the real thing). Such new tier cities are locked in ferocious inter-urban competition. In the Pearl River delta, for example, each city is now trying to capture as much business as possible ‘by outbuilding its neighbors, often with duplicative results. Five international airports were built in the late 1990s in a 100–kilometer radius, and a similar boom is starting for ports and bridges’.19 Provinces and cities resist Beijing’s efforts to rein in their investments, in part because they have the power to fund their own projects by selling rights to develop real estate.

Hourly wages in textile production in China in the late 1990s stood at 30 cents compared to Mexico’s and South Korea’s $2.75, Hong Kong’s and Taiwanese levels hovering around $5, and the US’s cost of more than $10.33 Chinese production was, however, largely subservient in the initial stages to the Taiwanese and Hong Kong merchants, who commanded the access to global markets, took the lion’s share of the trading profits, and increasingly achieved backward integration into production by buying out or investing in the TVEs or SOEs. Production facilities employing as many as 40,000 workers are not uncommon in the Pearl River delta. Furthermore, low rates of pay make capital-saving innovations possible. Highly productive US plants use expensive automated systems, but ‘Chinese factories reverse this process by taking capital out of the production process and reintroducing a greater role for labor’. The total capital required is typically reduced by one-third. ‘The combination of lower wages and less capital typically raises the return on capital above the US factory levels.’34 Incredible wage labour advantages of this sort mean that China can compete against other low-cost locations such as Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand in low-value-added production sectors (such as textiles).


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The fundamental laws of real estate—location, location, location—have been supplanted by three new ones: access, access, access. Here, Kasarda’s framework dovetails with what we already know about globalization. The world is a network. Cities now connect more easily to each other than to the towns and villages that lie just beyond their borders, or to the national capitals that supposedly call their shots. It’s how the cities of the Pearl River Delta can become “the world’s factory,” and why their fate is bound up in the flat-screen TV you dragged home from Best Buy. It’s how Las Vegas and Macau—an oasis and an island, separated by seven thousand miles—can duel to become the world’s gambling mecca. And it’s why the manicured lawns of the Infosys campus in Bangalore still abut urban squalor outside its gates: because the Microsoft of India has nothing in common with the countryside.

So while we fret about the making—about exchange rates and spare factory capacity and a real estate bubble threatening to dwarf our own—China is quietly preparing to set loose its people on the world. It’s there for the taking. Inside the “World’s Factory” Crossing the border from Hong Kong means passing from the developed world to the developing one, from a city of skyscrapers to a sprawl of factory towns on a scale Henry Ford could not have foreseen. Beyond lies the Pearl River Delta, stretching for a hundred miles inland. For Liam Casey this chasm is his commute. Twice, his driver handed over our passports at checkpoints, opening the van doors so the attendants could match the names to our faces. “You’re going to love this,” Casey said, just when I thought we were in the clear. A few seconds later, my door was opened again, this time by a guardsman in the People’s Liberation Army.

Liam Casey arrived in 1996, a few years after paramount leader Deng Xiaoping declared “to get rich is glorious” while passing through the city on his farewell tour. Deng is the father of Shenzhen, having chosen this sleepy fishing village as the first of China’s “special economic zones” in 1980. Foreign firms were invited to open shop here with few constraints or taxes, triggering the transformation of the Pearl River Delta into “the factory of the world” and Shenzhen into the “Overnight City,” having grown two-hundred-fold since then. While Shanghai’s Blade Runner landscape symbolizes China’s future, Shenzhen is the template for its instant cities. Until the crisis, the Delta was the world’s biggest boomtown, crowding 5 percent of China’s population into less than 1 percent of its land, where they produced 20 percent of the country’s GDP and 40 percent of its exports.

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (Hardback) - Common by Alan Greenspan

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air freight, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, equity premium, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pets.com, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, working-age population, Y2K, zero-sum game

That shift was not only the result of people moving to cities and some definitional changes but also the result of rural land being urbanized as new manufacturing enclaves began to sprout up ; mainly in the Pearl River delta contiguous to vibrant Hong Kong. In the 1970s this fertile area was home to sleepy farms and villages, but in the last fifteen years pioneering foreign investors from Hong Kong and elsewhere have stoked the region's growth. The delta now produces everything from toys to textiles, most of it manufactured for export. Hong Kong's example and assistance in the development of the Pearl River delta's economy has been striking. When China reestablished its sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, I did not hold much hope for the survival of Hong Kong capitalism. The notion that China would honor its pledge that Hong Kong would remain a bastion of capitalism for fifty years seemed to me rather naive.

Not only did the economies of the former Soviet bloc, after some chaos, embrace the ways of market capitalism, but so did most of what we previously called the third world—countries that had been neutral in the cold war but had practiced central planning or had been so heavily regulated that it amounted to the same thing. Communist China, which had edged toward market capitalism as early as 1978, accelerated the movement of its vast, tightly regulated, then more-than-500-million-person workforce toward the Free Trade Zones of the Pearl River delta. China's shift in protecting the property rights of foreigners, while subtle, was substantial enough to induce a veritable explosion in foreign direct investment (FDI) into China following 1991. From a level of $57 million 12 More ebooks visit: http://www.ccebook.cn ccebook-orginal english ebooks This file was collected by ccebook.cn form the internet, the author keeps the copyright. I NTRODUCTION in 1980, FDI drifted upward, reaching $4 billion in 1991, and then accelerated at a 21 percent annual rate, reaching $70 billion in 2006.

I absorbed a great deal from Ted, but after a long, distinguished Federal Reserve career, in 1998 Truman was appointed assistant secretary of the treasury for international affairs. His replacement, Karen Johnson, with a doctorate from MIT, continued my education. During my Fed years, I interacted with experts on virtually every international economic issue imaginable, from the opaque budget accounting rules governing our financial contributions to the IMF to the economics of China's Pearl River delta. I also had to continually recalibrate my views of how the U.S. economy worked in the context of ever-expanding globalization. Overseeing my schooling on the U.S. economy in addition to Don Kohn was David Stockton, the Fed's chief economist since 2000 and a Fed staffer since 1981. He never sought nor received the press that Fed governors get, but when the governors gave speeches, it was his forecast of the U.S. economy that Fed watchers were getting.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

A thousand years ago, trading vessels would make their way from India east across that part of the Indian Ocean known as the Andaman Sea, into the Malacca Strait and on to Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, often stopping at the capital of the Srivijaya empire (Palembang) before turning north to Tonkin and the Chinese ports of Beihai, Guangzhou, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, and Xiamen (Amoy) and Ningbo. Guangzhou, the biggest port of them all, lies at the head of the Pearl River Delta and has a history dating back 3,000 years. As early as the Tang dynasty (618–907 ce) it was home to thriving communities of Indian and Arab traders. Long before the great fifteenth century, Chinese armadas sailed out from Taicang (a port area near Shanghai) under the command of Admiral Zheng He to explore the “western oceans” and trade with Southeast Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East, and (possibly) the Mediterranean states.

The special economic zones that began in the early 1980s with the sleepy fishing village of Shenzhen, just across from Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland, were beginning to deliver on their trade and investment potential. In 2000, the city of Shenzhen—by then its population swollen past 10 million people—marked Deng’s role as a “great planner and contributor” to its development, unveiling a 6 m bronze statue in Lianhua (Lotus) Mountain park that shows Deng in a purposeful pose. Today, Shenzhen’s economic zone has expanded to take in the container port of Yantian and it forms part of the powerful Pearl River Delta region with Guangzhou and Hong Kong. China’s gross domestic product overtook that of Japan midway through 2010 for it to become the world’s No. 2 economy, though per capita income, even on the basis of purchasing power parity, is only about one-fifth of Japan’s. According to the International Monetary Fund, U.S. nominal gross domestic product in 2010 was $14.5 trillion, compared with $5.88 trillion for China and $5.46 trillion for Japan.

Japanese business strategist and globalisation pioneer Kenichi Ohmae suggested in 1995 that the end of the nation state was nigh—that countries were dinosaurs waiting to die, and in their place would arise “new engines of prosperity” based on natural economic zones.8 He identified some of them as northern Italy, the upper Rhine, Silicon Valley/Bay Area, Hong Kong/southern China, Singapore-Johore-Batam, Pusan, and Fukuoka, San Diego, and Tijuana. Some of this regionalisation has come to pass—notably the Pearl River Delta encompassing Hong Kong and southern China—but equally we have seen countries keen to form supranational groupings and unions over the past 15 years: G8, G20, G77, APEC, GCC, Mercosur, the expanded EU (see Exhibit 15.1). Russian leader Vladimir Putin has created a Common Economic Space with Belarus and Kazakhstan and has even spoken of a Eurasian Union that would bring back into the fold some of the Central Asian nations that went their own way after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.


pages: 66 words: 19,580

A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary by Alain de Botton

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Airbus A320, fear of failure, invention of the telephone, liberation theology, Pearl River Delta, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Silicon Valley

One might have come from Shanghai to join Malcolm and Mike for a drive down to Bournemouth to learn English for the summer: a two-month sojourn in a bed and breakfast near the pier, with regular lessons from a tutor who would teach her class how to say ‘ought’ and help them master business English, a subcategory of the language that would vouchsafe future careers in the semi-conductor and textile industries of the Pearl River delta. For his part, Mohammed was waiting for Chris’s flight from San Francisco. The former, originally from Lahore, was at present based in Southall, while the latter, from Portland, Oregon, now lived in Silicon Valley – not that either man would attempt to discover these details about the other. In an otherwise uninhabited universe, how strange that one should so easily be able to sit in silence with another human being in a black Mercedes S-Class sedan.


pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis

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barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, jitney, jobless men, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, liberation theology, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

Created in 1983, the Shanghai Economic Zone is the biggest subnational planning entity in the world, encompassing the metropolis and five adjoining provinces with an aggregate population almost as large as that of the United States.16 These new Chinese megalopolises, according to two leading researchers, may be only the first stage in the emergence of "a 13 Jean-Marie Cour and Serge Snrech (eds), Preparing for the Future: A Vision of West Africa in the Year 2020, Paris 1998, p. 94. 14 Ibid, p. 48. 15 See Yue-man Yeung, "Viewpoint: Integration of the Pearl River Delta," International Development Planning Tkeview 25:3 (2003). 16 Aprodicio Laquian, "The Effects of National Urban Strategy and Regional Development Policy on Patterns of Urban Growth in China," in Gavin Jones and Pravin Visaria (eds), Urbanisation in Large Developing Countries: China, lnonesia, Brazil, and India, Oxford 1997, pp. 62-63. continuous urban corridor stretching from Japan/North Korea to West Java."17 As it takes shape over the next century, this great dragon-lice sprawl of cities will constitute the physical and demographic culmination of millennia of urban evolution.

With a huge reservoir of redundant peasant labor (including more than half of the labor force of Sichuan, according to the People's Daily) the loosening of the bureaucratic dike produced a literal "peasant flood."33 Officially sanctioned migration was overshadowed by a huge stream of unauthorized immigrants or "floaters." Without the official citizenship in the city provided by a valid household registration card, this immense mass of poor peasants (currendy estimated at 100 million) had no legal entitlement to social services or housing. Instead they became super-cheap human fuel for the export sweatshops of the Pearl River Delta and the building sites of Shanghai and Beijing, while housing themselves in makeshift shacks and overcrowded rooms at the edges of the cities. The return of capitalism to China brought with it the squalid urban shantytown. Finally, in the late 1980s South Africa's rulers, faced with the most significant shantytown uprising in world history (the "civics" movement in the black townships), were forced to dismantle the totalitarian system of controls — first, the Pass Law in 1986, then the Group Areas Act in 1991 — that had restricted African urban migration and residence.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

But as our ability to build has accelerated through improvements in construction engineering, the frenetic business of real estate development, and new financing schemes, that historic way of designing cities has come undone. As a result, in fast-growing cities decisions about the location of different buildings, facilities, or roads have become ad hoc, arbitrary, and ill informed. Architect Rem Koolhaas, who studied the rapid urbanization of China’s Pearl River Delta region in the 1990s, described the pace of design there, telling students, “in China, 40-story buildings are designed on Macintoshes in less than a week.”42 One can hardly expect good decisions amid such haste. Oddly, just as the pace of building the physical world speeds up, there are signs that as computing hits the streets, the pace of innovation is about to slow down, or at least get a lot more complicated.

They get people talking to each other. Right now the problem with the Internet of Things is we get so focused on the thing itself that we fail to recognize that the potential to find new ways to express ourselves to each other through this medium.”43 As electronics makers all around the world have learned, the most telling sign of success is to have your product knocked off by the “shanzhai” factories of China’s Pearl River Delta region just north of Hong Kong. Numbering in the thousands, these tiny, fiercely competitive manufacturers are always looking for a niche to exploit before the others. In 2011, while trying to troubleshoot one student’s flaky Arduino, Igoe noticed something was off. The reset button was green, instead of the usual red. Flipping it over, he noticed there was also no Italian flag logo, the Arduino team’s patriotic mark of manufacturing quality on the boards.

., 5, 57–61, 294 Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, 85 Centrino processor, 132 Cerdà, Ildefons, 43–44, 93 Cerf, Vint, 303 Chambers, John, 24 Chattanooga, Tenn., 287–88 Chernobyl, 257 Chicago, Ill., 36, 94, 207–11, 292, 307 Chicago Shovels in, 208 industrialization of, 5 Neighborhood Health Index for, 209–10 Snow Corps of, 208 China: growth of smartphones in, 4 migration into cities in, 47–48 pace of building design in, 112 Pearl River Delta in, 112, 141 special economic zones in, 24 as threat to high-tech industry, 26 “tofu buildings” in, 257 urban development plans of, 2, 30 urban surveillance projects in, 273–74, 276 Chisinau, 168, 171 Chongqing, 273 “Peaceful Chongqing” surveillance in, 273 Cisco Systems, 8, 34, 38, 39, 44, 55, 249, 273, 290 Bangalore Globalisation Centre East of, 45 planners of new data networks by, 44–46 as planners of Songdo’s technology, 24, 26–28 as promoter of smart cities, 31–32 at Shanghai Expo 2010, 48, 172 videoconferencing through, 46–49 vision of future by, 47–49 Cities From the Sky (Campanella), 72 Cities in Evolution (Geddes), 97 CityMart, 246–47 City-search, 121 Civic Commons, 158–59 civic hackers: advantages over big tech companies of, 162–63 alternative visions of, 9 institutionalized techniques of, 239 problems with, 165–66, 224–25 Claris Networks, 288 Clark, David, 109 Clarke, Arthur C., 6 climate change, 112 Clinton, Bill, 248 cloud computing, 263–65, 289, 294 CNN, 116 Coast, Steve, 187 CoDeck, 233–34 Code for America, 237–43, 291 Brigade of, 243 Cold War, 79, 277 Collier’s, 56 Collins, John, 77, 84 Colorado, 197–98 Comer, Andrew, 290–91 Cometa Networks, 130 Community Access, 175 community antennas (CAs), 116 community media, 133, 154 Compass systems, 265 “computational leadership networks,” 242 computer modeling, 77–79, 81, 85 Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, 62 Congress, U.S., 57–58 Connected Cities (Haselmayer), 245 Constitution, U.S., 57 “control revolution,” 59, 64, 316 Convensia Convention Center, 23–24 Cook, Justin, 83–85, 298 Corbett, Peter, 200 Costa Rica, 176 Council on Foreign Relations, U.S., 63 Coward, Andrew, 274 Cowen, Tyler, 107–9 crowd-sourcing, 121, 151, 155, 166, 192, 203, 214–15, 308–9 traffic apps through, 157, 202 Crowley, Dennis, 121–26, 134, 144–52 Crystal Palace (London), 19–21 Convensia evoked in, 23 Cuartielles, David, 137 Cummings, E.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

But behind every handset is another story: that of the labor arrangements, supply chains and flows of capital that we implicate ourselves in from the moment we purchase one, even before switching it on for the first time. Whether it was designed in studios in Cupertino, Seoul or somewhere else, it is highly probable that the smartphone in your hand was assembled and prepared for shipment and sale at facilities within a few dozen kilometers of Shenzhen City, in the gritty conurbation that has sprawled across the Pearl River Delta since the Chinese government opened the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone for business in August 1980.4 These factories operate under circumstances that are troubling at best. Hours are long; the work is numbingly repetitive, produces injuries at surreal rates,5 and often involves exposure to toxic chemicals.6 Wages are low and suicide rates among the workforce are distressingly high.7 The low cost of Chinese labor, coupled to workers’ relative lack of ability to contest these conditions, is critical to the industry’s ability to assemble the components called for in each model’s bill of materials, apply a healthy markup8 and still bring it to market at an acceptable price point.

Most recently this has involved the launch of a program called Flex, in which same-day deliveries are outsourced to swarms of nonprofessional contract drivers scheduled by optimization algorithm.9 It has also started to lease its own fleet of cargo aircraft, to reduce its dependence on carriers like FedEx.10 It is even pursuing the idea that some degree of sorting might be pushed back up the supply chain to its wellsprings in the Pearl River Delta, with all the items destined to be delivered to a given neighborhood already allotted onto location-specific pallets on the other side of the Pacific. A July 2016 Deutsche Bank research paper outlines how Amazon plans to consolidate its investments in logistical innovation, deploying a mesh of autonomous trucking, mobile warehousing and drone-based delivery assets, knit together by network-analysis and demand-anticipation algorithms.

John Ribeiro, “US patent office rejects claims of Apple ‘pinch to zoom’ patent,” PCWorld, July 29, 2013. 4.Ann Fenwick, “Evaluating China’s Special Economic Zones,” Berkeley Journal of International Law Volume 2, Issue 2, Fall 1984. 5.“According to a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, each year about forty thousand fingers are either cut off or crushed in factories in the Pearl River Delta alone, mostly during assembly line operations for the export business”: Jack Linchuan Qiu, Working-Class Network Society, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009, p. 104. 6.Michael Blanding and Heather White, “How China Is Screwing Over Its Poisoned Factory Workers,” Wired, April 6, 2015. 7.Jenny Chan, “A Suicide Survivor: The Life of a Chinese Migrant Worker at Foxconn,” Truthout, August 25, 2013.


pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management, zero-sum game

Hu Jindou, a professor of economics at Beijing University of Technology, put it bluntly in an interview with the International Herald Tribune: “In order to achieve modernization, people will go to any ends to earn money, to advance their interests, leaving behind morality, humanity and even a little bit of compassion, let alone the law or regulations, which are poorly implemented. Everything is about the economy now, just like everything was about politics in the Mao era, and forced labor or child labor is far from an isolated phenomenon. It is rooted deeply in today’s reality, a combination of capitalism, socialism, feudalism and slavery.” DONGGUAN , a boomtown in China’s industrial Pearl River Delta region, boasts steel and glass high-rises, staggering traffic jams, and the world’s biggest shopping mall. Dongguan lies a few hours’ drive north of Hong Kong in Guangdong, China’s most populated province and also its richest, thanks to the labor of roughly 30 million workers. Most of these are migrants, peasants from the neighboring provinces of Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Jiangxi.

So there is no way for executives to distance themselves from China without also distancing themselves from their own product.” Sellers of consumer goods of all kinds typically obscure the pedigrees of their products, making it difficult for consumers to know just what it is we are getting. Tracing the lead-painted Thomas the Train caboose to the Ohio-based RC2 Corporation, one would assume it was made in the American Midwest, not the Pearl River Delta. The same might be said for many other toy manufacturers. How are we consumers to know where our purchases come from when even Mattel’s iconic American Girl Doll is made in China? And the pricier the purchase, the more difficult it is to trace—be it to China, Vietnam, India, or Latin America. Executives at high-end shirt maker Tommy Bahama may not want customers to know that its $100 Tortola Trance shirts are made by Oxford Industries, the same parent company that makes $12.99 Mercerized Simple Luxury Polos for Dockers.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, women in the workforce

Gell et al, ‘The Development of Single Crystal Superalloy Turbine Blades’, Superalloys, 1980, p. 205 5. http://www.mtu.de/en/technologies/engineering_news/others/Sieber_Aero_Engine_Roadmap_en.pdf 6. Data on the Balance Sheet, SAS Institute/CEBR, June 2013 7. P. Drucker, Post-capitalist Society (Oxford, 1993), p. 40 8. Ibid., p. 175 9. Ibid., p. 193 10. Y. Peng, ‘Internet Use of Migrant Workers in the Pearl River Delta’, in P.-L. Law (ed.), New Connectivities in China: Virtual, Actual and Local Interactions (Dordrecht, 2012), p. 94 11. P. Romer, ‘Endogenous Technological Change’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 98, no. 5, pt 2 (1990), pp. S71–S102 12. Ibid. p. S72 13. Ibid., pp. S71–S102 14. http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1567869/business-matters-average-itunes-account-generates-just 15.

Ibid. 57. http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman/publications/littleboxes/littlebox.PDF 58. R. Sennett, The Culture of the New Capitalism (New Haven, 2005) 59. R. Sennett, The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism (New York, 1998) 60. A. Negri and M. Hardt, Declaration, ebook, 2012, https://antonionegriinenglish.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/93152857-hardt-negri-declaration-2012.pdf 61. Y. Peng, ‘Internet Use of Migrant Workers in the Pearl River Delta’, Knowledge, Technology, and Policy, 21, 2008, pp. 47–54 PART III 1. G. Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (London, 1949) 8. ON TRANSITIONS 1. A. Bogdanov, Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia (Bloomington, 1984), p. 65 2. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/photo/1908/007.htm 3. Quoted in J. E. Marot, ‘Alexander Bogdanov, Vpered and the Role of the Intellectual in the Workers’ Movement’, Russian Review, vol. 49 (3) (1990), pp. 241–64 4. http://www.marxists.org/glossary/orgs/w/o.htm#workers-opposition 5.


pages: 651 words: 135,818

China into Africa: trade, aid, and influence by Robert I. Rotberg

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barriers to entry, BRICs, colonial rule, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global supply chain, global value chain, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, labour market flexibility, land reform, megacity, microcredit, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

A fifth zone in Hainan Province was created in 1988, after the passage of a resolution to establish Hainan Province and Hainan SEZ. The Hainan SEZ was the largest of the zones, including 6 cities and 13 counties with a total population of 7.4 million.1 Several other areas were targeted to attract foreign investment and joint ventures. In 1984, fourteen coastal cities were opened to outside investment, and in 1985 the same was done for coastal areas extending the economic zones of the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and South Fujian Triangle Delta. The designated SEZs had previously contributed less than 1 percent of China’s GDP, with a labor force engaged primarily in the agricultural sector. 07-7561-4 ch7.qxd 9/16/08 4:17 PM Page 139 Special Economic Zones 139 In 1980, Shenzhen’s GDP was RMB 270 million; Xiamen’s, RMB 375 million; and Shantou’s, RMB 889 million. In 1987, the GDP in Xiamen was RMB 640 million, and it was RMB 5.6 billion in Hainan.2 However, these areas played a limited role in the country’s economic development: the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, and Hainan covered 0.35 percent of the country’s land and had a population of 9.79 million—just 0.8 percent of the country’s population.3 Above all, the zones were located along China’s east coast, taking advantage of potential links between Shenzhen and its neighbor Hong Kong, Zhuhai and nearby Macao, Xiamen, and Taiwan, while also providing easier access to foreign markets.

.- Niger Delta, 168; insurgency in, 277, China collaboration and, 308–09 281, 291, 308; Movement for the Noninterference doctrine, 7, 36, 55, 80, Emanicpation of, 178 130, 307; as Chinese foreign policy Nigeria, 6, 54, 272–93; apparel and, 107; philosophy, 56; Chinese support of, attacks against Chinese in, 178–79; 298; as CPC-ID principle, 232–33; balance of power and, 289–90; human rights abuses and, 264; polit- Cameroon conflict and, 175; as case ical outreach and, 236; in Sudan, study, 272–73; China model and, 305; in Zimbabwe, 37 287–89; China relationship and, North America, 102 274–78; Chinese goods in, 11; Chi- North China Sea Fleet, 180 nese immigrants in, 272, 280–82, North Korea, 17, 260; foreign aid and, 286–87, 292–93; Chinese technology 198 in, 35–36; Confucius Institutes in, North-South War (Sudan), 257–59, 304 29; corruption and, 301; debt relief Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms and, 302; FDI and, 106; geographic Transfers, 163 concentration and, 100–01; human Nyerere, Julius, 83, 146, 158, 273 rights and, 13, 290–93; light crude oil and, 115; market survey data, Obasanjo, Olusegun, 274–75, 290, 376; 282–86; military assistance and, 161, textile industry and, 280 167–68, 183; multinational invest- Obiorah, Ndubisi, 11, 272 ment and, 117; national security and, Official development assistance (ODA), 155; ODA and, 213; oil and, 4–5, 208–09; Chinese concessional loans 115, 118, 250; resentment of Chinese and, 222–23, 225–26, 227; estimating in, 279–81; SEZs and, 140, 147–48, amounts of, 210; West and, 213 151 Offshore exploration, 113 Nigerian Association of Chambers of Ogaden National Liberation Front, 179 Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Ogun State, Nigeria, 148 Agriculture, 275 Ohio University, 281 Nigerian Communications Commis- Oil, 88–89, 109–13, 110, 278; elites and, sion, 275 292; FDI and, 103–04; geographic Nigerian National Petroleum Company, concentration of trade and, 100; gov- 116 ernment management of, 114–18; Nigerian Telephony Project, 275 government-to-government assis- Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Associa- tance and, 109; human rights and, tion, 279 251, 254, 256; naval strategy and, Nnamani, Ken, 289 182; Nigeria and, 272, 275, 277–78, 16-7561-4 index.qxd 9/16/08 4:25 PM Page 333 Index 333 279, 281, 289; product distribution Peacekeeping operations, 176–78, 306; and, 99; refineries for, 250, 277–78; China and, 308; Sudan and, 257, 266 Sudan and, 256–57, 264; US-China Pearl River Delta, 138 relations and, 304–05; Zimbabwe People’s Daily (newspaper), 220, 225 and, 262 People’s Liberation Army (PLA), 162, Olympics, Beijing (2008), 2, 13, 68, 130, 165–67; naval strategy and, 184; 266; Darfur and, 12–13 South Africa and, 169; Zambia and, ONCC Videsh, 120 173; Zimbabwe and, 174–75 One-China policy, 211; Zambia and, Persian Gulf, 181, 184 143 Petrobras, 122 One-party states, 238–39, 242, 287 Petrodar, 257 Operation Gukurahundi, 260 Petronas, 256 Operation Murambatsvina, 260–61, 263 Political outreach, 230–43; cadre train- Opposition parties, 233, 235, 239–41, ing as, 237–38; under the CPC-ID, 242; CPC-ID strategy and, 238; in 232–35; as foreign policy, 230, Zimbabwe, 260–61 242–43; hospitality as, 235–37; infor- Organization for Economic Coopera- mation management as, 238; tion and Development (OECD), 208, National People’s Congress and, 302, 308; amount of Chinese foreign 241–42; to opposition parties, aid and, 210–11; ODA and, 213; soft 239–41; revolutionary ideology and, power and, 212 230–32 Organization for Petroleum Exporting Political parties, 230–43, 273; begin- Countries (OPEC), 118, 198 nings of outreach between, 230–32; Organization of African Unity, 156 opposition parties, 239–41; outreach Organization of European Cooperation in modern era, 232–35; outreach and Development, 9 methods and, 235–38; overview of Oshodi market, 281 outreach to, 242–43; visits by leaders, Ottawa Landmine Convention, 178 235–37 Poly Technology, 167 Pakistan, 165; foreign aid and, 199; Popular Movement for the Liberation of naval strategy and, 181–82; SEZs Angola (MPLA), 117–18, 157, 231, and, 140 238; military assistance and, 159 Pan-Africanist Congress, 156, 231 Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 179, 281 Paramilitaries, 254–55 Port Sudan, Sudan, 171 Pariah states, 263, 265 Portugal, 67, 116–17, 213 Paris Club debt, 277 Postcolonialism, 81–83, 298 Parliamentary exchanges, 241–42 Poverty, 288, 300, 307; China model Partido Frelimo, 23 and, 292, 298; conditional assistance Party of the Revolution (Chama Cha and, 288; elites and, 292; United Mapinduzi) (Tanzania), 237 States and, 304; in Zimbabwe, 260 Patel, Dipak, 72 Preferential loans.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

China’s urban population catapulted from about 200 million to almost 400 million people in four short, hectic years of transformation.48 China’s next urban boom began after 1992: Deng Xiaoping embarked on his historic Southern Tour of China’s southeast coastal region (during which he may have proclaimed, “To get rich is glorious”), solidified pro-market reforms as Communist Party dogma, and prompted an export-driven expansion that lured rural labor to the coast. Shenzhen, on China’s Pearl River Delta, became the modern-day Seville. A fishing village of some 10,000 people during the 1970s, it was anointed a Special Economic Zone in 1979 and reached 2.5 million inhabitants over the next decade. After the Southern Tour, growth leapt into a new gear: by the year 2000, Shenzhen’s population topped 8 million and by 2015, 10 million (or 15 million, counting migrant laborers).49 The story was repeated in dozens of other places, so that today over half of China’s population—nearly 800 million people—lives in its cities.50 In one generation, almost half a billion people—equal to the present population of the European Union—relocated.

It is not a question of if, but when, a pandemic will strike a major political, financial or industrial center and force its complete (albeit temporary) isolation from all physical flows in the global system—with hard-to-predict consequences for infrastructure services like energy and IT. But how can any large business avoid locating critical units in places like London, New York or China’s Pearl River Delta? The near-universal use of antibiotics and antimicrobials across the emerging global middle class, in everything from hospitals to cattle herds, is hastening nature’s development of resistant superbugs. And our growing connectedness is spreading them worldwide. One superbug, MRSA, has already become a persistent nuisance (and occasionally, a serious threat) in hospitals and nursing homes everywhere.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

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Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, working-age population, zero-sum game

It is more than 1,500 kilometres from the lush hills of Zhugao County in Sichuan Province to the factories on China’s coast. It’s a long journey repeatedly taken by Deng Zhi, a 24-year-old migrant worker. Since the age of 17, he has been regularly making this twenty-six-hour journey from farm to factory. Typically that has meant working twelve-hour days, six days a week, at an electronics factory in Dong Guan, on the Pearl River Delta. Deng Zhi is paid the equivalent of £100 a month. ‘How much can you earn from farming?’ he asks himself. ‘Working in the cities, you make at least 1,000 renminbi [£100] a month. How many kilos of rice can you buy with this money? It just doesn’t pay to farm.’ Of his £100 factory wages, Deng Zhi sends back about £30 to his family to pay for health, education and pensions, none of which are adequately provided by the state.

Emperor Daoguang objected, and ordered raids on the opium dealers, carried out by the celebrated Chinese administrator and scholar Lin Zexu. In a letter to Queen Victoria in 1839, Lin Zexu wrote: ‘The wealth of China is used to profit the barbarians… By what right do they then in return use the poisonous drug to injure the Chinese people?’ The British remained deaf to his appeals, and in June 1840 an expeditionary force of barracks ships, gunboats and smaller vessels carrying 4,000 sailors and marines arrived in the Pearl River Delta, so launching the First Opium War. The Chinese have not forgotten this humiliation. The original pits where British opium was seized and burnt are still maintained in Dong Guan, itself now a symbol of Chinese global trade, alongside a statue of Lin Zexu. In 2010, the Chinese government even objected to David Cameron wearing the unrelated Remembrance poppy on his lapel during a trade visit to China.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

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Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, knowledge economy, land reform, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

The fifty-five million overseas Chinese, mostly settled in the Asian periphery, are the demographic equivalent of climate change: imperceptibly advancing, knowing no boundaries, and affecting everyone.5 Organic Chinese links are rekindling across political borders, fueling a demographic blending no less significant than that of the Americas or across the Mediterranean. Historical ties between China’s northeast and South Korea and Japan, the Pearl River delta region and Hong Kong, the Yangzi River delta and Taiwan, and the southeast and the greater Mekong subregion all form natural economic territories that transcend peace and conflict.6 China’s massive gender imbalance (stemming from the one-child policy and pronounced boy bias) has led it to import women from Vietnam and North Korea, further diluting diverse bloods into a Chinese-based mongrel race.

In 1997, when the “last British colony surrendered to the last Communist tyranny,” in the words of the island’s final British governor, Chris Patten, China was gifted this global financial capital where now less than one in ten people work in manufacturing despite an annual export value greater than India’s or Russia’s. Land reclamation on both Hong Kong island and mainland Kowloon have narrowed the grand Victoria Harbor between them—a symbol for the closing gap between Hong Kong and the upper Pearl River delta cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou (Canton), which together form the wealthiest Chinese region.45 The delta was Britain’s entrepôt on the maritime Silk Road, and now it is the channel on which ancient Yueh cities have reclaimed modern glory as export-processing zones. In nearby Macao (China’s own Las Vegas) and Hainan Island, Chinese mega-infrastructure projects are paving the way for Taiwanese, Korean, and Hong Kong investors to build hugely profitable hotels and resorts; buy up real estate; and launch low-cost airlines to ferry Chinese there from all over the mainland, while Beihai offers an ideal location for the coastal trade with Vietnam.


pages: 489 words: 132,734

A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook

Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, joint-stock company, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pearl River Delta, Potemkin village, profit motive, rent control, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

“I set no value on objects strange or ingenious and have no use for your country’s manufactures. Our ways bear no resemblance to yours.” The only product the British could find a market for in China was opium, a narcotic produced in their Indian empire that physically addicts its users, eroding their powers of free will. In the early nineteenth century, the limited trade the Chinese emperor permitted with the West was done through Canton (now Guangzhou), on the Pearl River Delta nearly one thousand miles south of Shanghai. Canton had historically been China’s international gateway. In the Middle Ages, Arab traders plowed its waters. With the rise of the West, first the Portuguese and later the Dutch, British, French, and Americans began trading with China through Canton. Opium in, tea out. Western traders in Canton lived under the emperor’s tight restrictions. Since the Chinese considered themselves the only civilized people on earth, the imperial authorities mandated that all barbarians be closely watched to prevent their contaminating the indigenous population with their inferior ways.

Sometimes called “white boys,” these office assistants were usually mixed-race Eurasians from Macau—part Portuguese and part Chinese. Aiding the Western traders were compradors. Literally “buyer” in Portuguese, compradors were the Chinese fixers who helped negotiate the imperial bureaucracy and communicate with local contractors and customers. Compradors were typically Cantonese whose families had migrated to Shanghai as the new treaty port displaced China’s historic East-West exchange hub in the Pearl River Delta. There were clear racial hierarchies in the foreign city, a continuum with whites on top and Chinese on the bottom. Even after residential segregation broke down, with Chinese living in the foreign concessions, public places remained segregated by a system similar to America’s Jim Crow laws. When the British built a “public garden” on the Bund riverfront near their consulate, it was, despite its name, closed to the Chinese who constituted most of the public.


pages: 261 words: 57,595

China's Future by David Shambaugh

Berlin Wall, capital controls, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, high net worth, knowledge economy, labour mobility, low skilled workers, market bubble, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent-seeking, secular stagnation, short selling, South China Sea, special drawing rights, too big to fail, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

The three main drivers of urbanization in the future, according to Premier Li Keqiang, will be to give urban residency (hukou) to 100 million migrants who currently live in cities (an amnesty, in effect); rebuilding dilapidated parts of existing urban areas, where an additional 100 million currently live; and urbanizing an additional 100 million in the central and western regions of the country.32 This “300 million initiative” will account for the additional 16 percent due to become urban dwellers between now and 2030. The sheer magnitude of China’s cities is hard to grasp. Today there are five cities with a population over 10 million; fourteen cities over 5 million; and 41 cities of 2 million or more.33 By 2025, McKinsey & Company estimates, 46 of the world’s 200 largest cities will be in China.34 There are plans to turn the greater Pearl River Delta—including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai—into one enormous megacity () of 42 million people,35 and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle (known as Jing-Jin-Ji) into an even larger one covering 82,000 square miles and a total population of 130 million people.36 The new strategy to create megalopolises is a shift from just a few years ago when the government’s priority was to develop small and medium-sized cities.37 Creating “ecocities” and “green urbanization” are another part of the government’s plan—an appropriate goal given the environmental catastrophe that besets many Chinese cities.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

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1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

40 This argument is made as if we in the West are mere spectators to this reckless and dirty model of economic growth. As if it was not our governments and our multinationals that pushed a model of export-led development that made all of this possible. It is said as if it were not our own corporations who, with single-minded determination (and with full participation from China’s autocratic rulers), turned the Pearl River Delta into their carbon-spewing special economic zone, with the goods going straight onto container ships headed to our superstores. All in the name of feeding the god of economic growth (via the altar of hyper-consumption) in every country in the world. The victims in all this are regular people: the workers who lose their factory jobs in Juárez and Windsor; the workers who get the factory jobs in Shenzhen and Dhaka, jobs that are by this point so degraded that some employers install nets along the perimeters of roofs to catch employees when they jump, or where safety codes are so lax that workers are killed in the hundreds when buildings collapse.

., 322–23, 389, 397 Our Hamburg—Our Grid coalition, 96–97 oysters, 431–32, 434 ozone depletion, 16 Pacala, Stephen, 113 Pacific Northwest: ecological values of, 319–20 proposed coal export terminals in, 320, 322, 346, 349, 370, 374 Pacific Ocean, acidification of, 434 Paine, Tom, 314 Palin, Sarah, 1 palm oil plantations, 222 Papanikolaou, Marilyn, 361 Papua New Guinea, 200, 220 Paradise Built in Hell (Solnit), 62–63 Paraná, Brazil, 221, 222 Parenti, Christian, 49, 186 Parfitt, Ben, 129 Paris, public transit in, 109 Parkin, Scott, 296 Parr, Michael, 227 particulate pollution, 176 Passamaquoddy First Nation, 371–72 Patel, Raj, 136 Patles, Suzanne, 381 Paulson, Henry, 49 Peabody Energy, 391 Pearl River Delta, 82 Pelosi, Nancy, 35 Pendleton, Oreg., 319 Peninsula Hospital Center, 104 Penn State Earth System Science Center, 55 Pennsylvania: fracking in, 357n Homeland Security Office of, 362 water pollution in, 328–29 Pensacola, Fla., 431 permafrost, 176 Peru, 78, 220–21 pest outbreaks, 14 Petrobras, 130 PetroChina, 130 Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 226 Pew Research Center for People & the Press, 35 Philippines, 107, 109 Phillips, Wendell, 463 phosphate of lime, 163–64, 166 photovoltaic manufacturing, 66 Pickens, T.


pages: 780 words: 168,782

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pearl River Delta, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War

The direct proximity of Hong Kong, whose population included many Cantonese-speaking refugees from Guangdong, meant that the province still had access to an extensive web of contacts with the outside world, including the huge network of overseas Chinese. All this meant that a certain amount of illegal trade had continued even during the darkest days of Maoism. (Indeed, considering the huge and intricate possibilities for smuggling offered by the Pearl River delta, the gateway to Guangdong, it could have hardly been otherwise.) Many Guangdong residents received remittances from their relatives in Hong Kong or places more distant, and these funds were a major source of revenue for a region that had otherwise been severed from its natural trading hinterland after 1949. Guangdong party officials knew all of this very well, and they were eager to seize upon the new talk in Beijing of opening up the country to investment.

The border guard hands you your passport, and you step across onto the mainland—or, to be more precise, the city of Shenzhen, which introduces itself as a warren of neon-lit shops offering everything from knock-off designer goods to toy helicopters to Mont Blanc fountain pens, all of it on sale right there in the same sprawling immigration building. Much of what you see was made here. Today, by one estimate, Shenzhen and the surrounding Pearl River delta boast a larger manufacturing workforce than the entire United States. Its factories churn out everything from exercise equipment to iPods; by 2005 Shenzhen boasted the world’s fourth-busiest port and one of its biggest stock exchanges. As you roam the city, you will marvel at the traffic jams, the infectious energy of the bustling crowds, the immense shopping centers selling the latest cell phones and computers.


pages: 389 words: 98,487

The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor, and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car by Tim Harford

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Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, congestion charging, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, new economy, Pearl River Delta, price discrimination, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Shenzhen was a fishing village, special economic zone, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Vickrey auction

After years of paying low wages—because the supply of migrant labor from China seemed unlimited—factories on the Gold Coast are starting to run out of willing workers. Foreign-owned factories pay a bit more and enjoy easier recruitment and lower turnover. But wages will have to rise and conditions will have to improve, because inland China is catching up. In 2003, Yang Li did what many Chinese workers have done: she left home to work in a sweatshop in the Pearl River delta. A month later, after working thirteen-hour shifts, she decided to go home and start her own business—a hair salon. “Every day at the factory was just work, work,” she says. “My life here is comfortable.” Yang Li’s parents had to survive the Cultural Revolution; her grandparents, the Great Leap Forward. Yang Li has real choices, and she lives in a country where those choices mean something for her quality of life.


pages: 422 words: 89,770

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

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1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, Pearl River Delta, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Liaoning has “declined into a wasteland of bankruptcy and a hotbed of working-class protest by its many unemployed workers and pensioners. Unpaid pensions and wages, defaults on medical subsidies, and inadequate collective consumption are the main grievances triggering labor unrest in Liaoning.”5 In the southern province of Guangdong, China’s export-oriented industry is booming. The province in 2000 accounted for forty-two percent of all China’s exports, 90 percent of which came from eight cities in the Pearl River Delta. The area attracts many of China’s eighty to one hundred million migrant workers. But here Lee found “satanic mills” that run “at such a nerve-racking pace that workers’ physical limits and bodily strength are put to the test on a daily basis.”6 Workers can put in fourteen- to sixteen-hour days with no rest day during the month until payday. In these factories it is “normal” to work four hundred hours or more a month, especially for those in the garment industry.


pages: 3,292 words: 537,795

Lonely Planet China (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Shawn Low

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bike sharing scheme, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, indoor plumbing, land reform, mass immigration, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

The following companies (all with counters at HKIA Terminal 2) have buses going to points in southern China (Foshan HK$230, Guangzhou HK$250, and Shenzhen airport HK$130): CTS Express Coach Eternal East Cross Border Coach ( GOOGLE MAP ; %3760 0888, 3412 6677; 4-6 Hankow Rd, 13th fl, Kai Seng Commercial Centre; h7am-8pm) Trans-Island Limousine Service FERRY You can also head straight from the airport to other Pearl River delta cities by ferry: Skypier (%2215 3232) A fast ferry service that links HKIA with Macau and six Pearl River delta destinations. Travellers can board ferries without clearing Hong Kong customs and immigration. Book a ticket prior to boarding from ticketing desks located in the transfer area at Arrivals (Level 5, near to immigration counters). Chu Kong Passenger Transportation Co Has ferries from HKIA to Shenzhen airport (HK$220, 40 minutes, eight daily, 10.15am to 6.30pm) and to Macau, Shekou, Dongguan, Zhuhai and Zhongshan.

Hong Kong AirlinesAIRPORT (HX; %3151 1888; www.hongkongairlines.com) Cheaper airline that specialises in regional routes, including 17 cities in mainland China. Boat Regular ferries link the China Ferry Terminal ( GOOGLE MAP ; China Hong Kong City, 33 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui) in Kowloon and the Hong Kong–Macau Ferry Terminal ( GOOGLE MAP ; Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Rd, Sheung Wan) on Hong Kong Island with towns and cities on the Pearl River delta – but not central Guangzhou or Shenzhen. You’ll find left-luggage lockers (HK$20 to HK$30 per hour) in both terminals. Chu Kong Passenger Transportation Co (%2858 3876; www.cksp.com.hk) provides regularly scheduled ferries to Zhuhai (HK$200, 70 minutes), Zhongshan (HK$230, 1½ hours), Shunde (HK$240, two hours), Zhaoqing (HK$220, four hours) and Shekou (HK$140, one hour). Bus You can reach virtually any major destination in Guangdong province by bus (HK$100 to HK$220): CTS Express CoachBUS ( GOOGLE MAP ; %2764 9803; http://ctsbus.hkcts.com) Trans-Island Limousine ServiceBUS (%3193 9333; www.trans-island.com.hk) Mainland destinations from Hong Kong include Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Kaiping, Shenzhen’s Baoan airport and Zhongshan.

In the blue pine forests of Nanling, the music of waterfalls and windswept trees boomerangs in your direction. If it’s Unesco-crowned heritage you’re after, Kaiping’s flamboyant watchtowers and the stylised poses of Cantonese opera will leave you riveted. What's all the fuss about Hakka and Chiuchow cultures? Well, find out in Meizhou and Chaozhou. Historically Guangdong was the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road and the birthplace of revolution. On the scenic byways of the Pearl River delta, you’ll uncover the glory of China’s revolutionary past. While on the surf-beaten beaches of Hailing Island, an ancient shipwreck and its treasures await. When to Go AApr–Jun Verdant paddy fields against the built wonders of Kaiping and Meizhou. AJul–Sep Blue pines and stained-glass windows offer respite from summer. AOct–Dec The typhoons and heat are gone; this is the best time to visit.


pages: 487 words: 147,891

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny

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anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, forensic accounting, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile

Most megalopolises such as São Paulo, Mexico City, Istanbul, and Cairo have a history stretching back hundreds if not thousands of years. Twenty years ago, Shenzhen had a population of several thousand and was no more than a few scattered villages. From the gentle agricultural pastures of northern Hong Kong, you can now cross into a 12 million–strong giant of hypermalls, factories, tower blocks, and work, work, work. Shenzhen on the Pearl River Delta is the gateway to the new China, having formed a profoundly dynamic symbiotic relationship with Hong Kong. One of the original special economic zones, not only has Shenzhen become the blazing vanguard of China’s future, but it has even rescued the former British colony from decline by throwing it a lifeline of economic opportunity. If there is a market niche, the entrepreneurs of Shenzhen will sniff it out and fill it.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

But now the spice race had brought the barbarians to the gates of the Middle Kingdom itself. And it must be remembered that, though the Portuguese had precious few goods the Chinese wanted, they did bring silver, for which Ming China had an immense demand as coins took the place of paper money and labour service as the principal means of payment. In 1557 the Portuguese reached Macau, a peninsula on the Pearl River delta. Among the first things they did was to erect a gate – the Porta do Cerco – bearing the inscription: ‘Dread our greatness and respect our virtue.’ By 1586 Macau was an important enough trading outpost to be recognized by the Portuguese Crown as a city: Cidade de Nome de Deus (City of the Name of God). It was the first of many such European commercial enclaves in China. Luís da Camões, author of The Lusiads, the epic poem of Portuguese maritime expansion, lived in Macau for a time, after being exiled from Lisbon for assault.


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

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Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

As Schwarzenegger mobilized California, the southeastern United States, which is usually moist, was also in historic drought, triggering a wave of outdoor-watering bans, withered crops, and unheard-of water battles between states like Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas.189 Mexico had been in severe drought, with only limited relief, for fifteen years.190 Exceptional droughts were under way in Brazil, Argentina, western Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Turkey, and Ukraine.191 Drought emergencies were triggering food aid in Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, and Moldova.192 By February 2009, precipitation was 70%-90% below normal in northern and western China, threatening 10% of the country’s entire cereal production. 193 That same month, extreme dryness primed “Black Saturday,” when six hundred blazes killed two hundred people in the worst Australian wildfires in history. By April, crop failures in Chattisgarh state drove fifteen hundred Indian farmers—unable to repay their debts without water—to commit suicide.194 Within days of the Iowa floods, heavy rains also struck eastern India and China, killing sixty-five people and displacing five hundred thousand in India. In China, floods in Guangdong and Guangxi Zhuang, Sansui City, and the Pearl River delta killed 176 and displaced 1.6 million. While America’s eyes were fixed on Sarah Palin, hydrologist Bob Brakenridge at Dartmouth was watching floods from space, using satellites to track them all over the world.195 In the ten months between Barack Obama’s winning the Iowa caucuses on January 3, and the general election on November 4, Brakenridge documented 145 major floods carving destruction around the planet.


pages: 366 words: 117,875

Arrival City by Doug Saunders

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agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Pearl River Delta, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population

Shu’s life here consists of exactly 29 possessions, including four chopsticks and a mobile phone; they have never seen the great city of Chongqing beyond Liu Gong Li’s streets. Each month, they keep $45 for food and $30 to cover expenses and send all the rest back to their village to support their daughter’s secondary-school education and to feed their parents, who raise their daughter. For 11 years, beginning in 1993, the two of them lived in more modern and somewhat less cryptlike worker dormitories in Shenzhen, the all-industrial city in the Pearl River Delta, 1,500 kilometers south. The garment factories there, which made goods for Western companies, had better working conditions and paid more. But they discovered a serious flaw: in Shenzhen, there was no prospect of arrival. No matter how much the couple saved, they could never afford an apartment, and the city offered them no option of purchasing a piece of shantytown housing, of the sort that dominates Liu Gong Li, because none exists in the planned city of Shenzhen.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Along with big improvements in shipping logistics, this allowed the company to optimize its just-in-time inventory management, which drastically cut its costs. Walmart parlayed those cost savings into the cheapest prices anywhere in the United States, which turned it into the iconic and, to some, infamous behemoth that now dominates American suburbia. Just as important, its high-tech network had a feedback effect on suppliers, contributing to the concentration of manufacturing in hubs such as China’s Pearl River Delta. As Walmart became an increasingly powerful but relentless hunter of the cheapest manufacturing sources, and as other Western buyers caught on to its high-tech lead, factories paying low wages in the developing world would congregate in locales where it was most efficient to tap into Walmart’s network. Byrne now sees similar opportunities for firms like his to build influence by leveraging bitcoin in its international payment relationships and thus creating a tipping point from which change starts rippling over the world economy.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

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additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, mass immigration, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

All this was technologically primitive, but evidence of a well-developed industry for sorting, handling and ultimately recycling a wide range of materials that in Europe would be unlikely to find a home other than a landfill. And it flourished wherever there was waste – in Chinese cities, or where containerloads docked from Europe. Wong said imports of waste plastic didn’t reach him, because they were snapped up by people nearer the port in Xiamen. But elsewhere I heard of vast amounts of plastic waste being imported from Britain to Hong Kong and shipped on barges up the Pearl River delta to recyclers around the industrial cities of Dongguan and Shenzhen. There, whole villages specialize in specific types of plastic waste, like PET bottles or plastic bags made of LDPE (low-density polyethylene). We in Britain occasionally get press reports of Tesco’s bags billowing through the back streets of southern China. I am sure it happens, and it may not be an edifying spectacle. But it is a fact that most of the plastic sent to China does get recycled, often at the very factories that made the stuff in the first place.

Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of gunpowder, Louis Pasteur, Pearl River Delta, precision agriculture, recommendation engine, The Design of Experiments

Such a farm could feed no more than 3–4 people/ha, albeit on diets relatively rich in dairy products and meat. Perhaps the highest nitrogen inputs in traditional agriculture were reached during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in parts of South China where yearround cropping is possible, particularly in Sichuan’s Red Basin and in the lowlands of the southern provinces, especially in Guangdong’s Zhujiang (Pearl River) delta. 34 Chapter 2 There the combination of nitrogen inputs—intensively recycled human and animal wastes, regular cultivation of green manures and food and feed legumes, and biofixation by cyanobacteria in paddy fields—provided annually well in excess of 100 kg N/ha of arable land. My detailed reconstructions of nitrogen flows on small Sichuanese and Hunanese farms show that their highest managed inputs amounted typically to between 120 and 150 kg N/ha.57 Yet another traditional Chinese agroecosystem managed even higher nitrogen inputs, but as it involved a major component of aquaculture, its performance is not directly comparable with crop-based schemes.


pages: 859 words: 204,092

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of the Middle Kingdom by Martin Jacques

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, credit crunch, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income per capita, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, one-China policy, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

‘The Dragon and the Eagle Survey’, The Economist, 2 October 2004, p. 11. 25 . Maddison, Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run, p. 69. 26 . Yu Yongding, ‘China’s Structural Adjustment’, p. 1 27 . Interview with Yu Yongding, Singapore, 3 March 2006. 28 . Andy Xie, Asia/Pacific Economics, report for Morgan Stanley, November 2002. 29 . ‘Guangdong Factories Drop Cheap for Chic’, South China Morning Post, 17 March 2008; ‘End of an Era for Pearl River Delta’, South China Morning Post, 9 February 2008. 30 . Yu Yongding, ‘China’s Rise, Twin Surplus and the Change of China’s Development Strategy’, unpublished paper, Namura Tokyo Club Conference, Kyoto, 21 November 2005, p. 12. 31 . Ibid., p. 11. 32 . Maddison, Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run, pp. 94-6. 33 . Interview with Yu Yongding, Beijing, 6 December 2005: Wang Gungwu, ‘Ration alizing China’s Place in Asia’, in Reid and Zheng, Negotiating Asymmetry, p. 5. 34 .