Earlier this month The Times ran a profile of Tianjin and its aspirations to become an economic powerhouse in the model of Shenzhen:
Leaders say that this once-sleepy city of 11 million can deliver the sort of spur to the national economy that the development of Shenzhen and the Pudong area of Shanghai provided in the 1980s and 1990s. Cui Jindu, the vice-mayor, said: “We want Tianjin to be northern China’s gateway to the outside world, a high-value manufacturing and research and development base, an international centre for shipping and logistics.”…
Tianjin’s ambitions lie not just in the crowded city centre but among the sprawling industrial parks that surround it. The Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) has attracted such giants as Motorola, Samsung and Caterpillar to take advantage of tax breaks and its status as a bonded zone.
China’s State Council, or cabinet, has also given the nod to the city’s Binhai New Area as a pilot site for financial experiments that city officials hope will enable it to compete with Shanghai.