Building the nation – The Economist

From the Economist:

ITS economy shows few signs of needing one, but China is revving up what officials call a “new engine of growth” to supplement the dynamos of Shanghai and Shenzhen, the two port cities at the forefront of the country’s economic transformation. A strip of industrial sprawl and barren semi-wasteland that stretches for 150km (90 miles) along the northern coast is being turned into a development zone far bigger than either Shanghai’s or Shenzhen’s. And its planners have been given the central government’s blessing to experiment with a wide range of economic and bureaucratic reforms.

The government has high hopes for this venture. The Binhai New Area, as the zone is called, is intended to help a swathe of northern China, including the capital, Beijing, and the provinces around the Bohai gulf (see map), enjoy the same kind of economic boom generated by Shenzhen in the Pearl River delta and by Shanghai in the lower reaches of the Yangtze. With the help of tax incentives and (for now) far cheaper land than either Shanghai or Shenzhen, officials hope to make the zone a manufacturing powerhouse for everything from aircraft and cars to microchips and chemicals.