The politics of regional cooperation in the Greater Pearl River Delta

Tsan Yin Peter CHEUNG

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26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the interactions between subnational governments in influencing the Chinese national state in economic and spatial planning by focusing on two cases in south China, namely the pursuit of a new reform and development plan by Guangdong province in 2008 and Hong Kong's effort to position itself in China's 12th Five‐Year Plan (FYP). The intergovernmental dynamics inside the Greater Pearl River Delta (PRD) can be interpreted as the policy advocacy and coordination of entrepreneurial local states in a fragmented, authoritarian polity. Guangdong province actively pursued central approval of the PRD's regional plan because central support is critical not only for approving specific projects but also for steering its development direction and providing a policy tool to impose coordination plans in order to achieve better regional coordination and resource allocation inside the Delta. The province has skilfully leveraged on Hong Kong to get central approval and delegation of power over pilot measures regarding Guangdong–Hong Kong economic cooperation. Similarly, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government's efforts to secure a privileged position for Hong Kong in the 12th FYP can be considered as a competitive positioning strategy in view of growing competition within the PRD and from other regions.

本文研究大珠三角地方政府間互動及中央政府在經濟和空間規劃的影響,並集中分析華南地區的兩個案例——廣東省政府於2008‐2009年間提出改革和發展規劃,以及香港爭取中央政府在“國民經濟和社會發展第十二個五年規劃綱要”對其作出重要定位。大珠三角地方政府間的互動,可以被解讀為在分割的權威體制下,具有企業型行為模式的地方政府對政策的推動和協調。廣東省主動尋求中央政府批准珠三角發展和改革規劃綱要,並非只為爭取它對幾個特定政策的支持。更重要的是,廣東省政府旨在利用中央的支持推動本省所訂立的政策和發展方向。中央支持更成為省政府的政策工具,使其能對珠三角內部的規劃進行協調部署,從而實現更佳的區域合作與資源配置。廣東省策略性地與香港聯手爭取中央支持,推動粵港經濟合作的先行先試措施以及向省政府下放權力。同樣地,香港特別行政區政府亦爭取中央政府在第十二個五年規劃中,對香港作出有利的定位。這可被視為香港在珠三角內外競爭不斷加劇的環境中, 所採取的一種策略性行動。 Copyright © 2012 Victoria University of Wellington.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


Cheung, P. T. Y. (2012). The politics of regional cooperation in the Greater Pearl River Delta. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 53(1), 21-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8373.2012.01473.x


  • 12th Five-Year Plan (China)
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Pearl River Delta
  • Regional cooperation
  • Regional development
  • Alt. title: 大珠三角區域合作的政治
  • 十二五規劃(中國)
  • 中國
  • 香港
  • 珠三角
  • 區域合作
  • 區域發展


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