Hello Qingdao, bye-bye Shanghai?

Is China''s economic centre of gravity heading north?

Ever since the reform of 'reform and opening up' was launched in 1979, the engine of the Chinese economy has been the Southeastern coastal regions - with an emphasis on trade, and joint ventures producing and exporting light industrial that is, labour rather than capital intensive goods. The Chinese have dubbed this model 'extensive' rather than 'intensive,' meaning it has flourished on plentiful and cheap inputs of low-cost labour, subsidized capital and cheap land.

But results shows that the coastal areas performed surprisingly poorly in the first half of last year, to the extent they were outperformed in absolute as well as relative terms by other, traditionally poorer, provinces. Aside from...

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