Category Archives: Cities

Jiangmen: Mission to restore faded glory

The municipality of Jiangmen has a fascinating history, and to say it has “been through the wars” would be an understatement. Like most of the Greater Bay Area, it has had its ups and downs. Yet its history is unique as a once-proud node on the Maritime Silk Road, a home to many overseas Chinese who traded throughout Southeast Asia in the days before Hong Kong and Canton became the powerhouses they are today. Once one of the region’s richest areas, today the GBA’s westernmost city is, like the easternmost city of Huizhou, finding itself playing catch-up to the rest in economic development.

Continue reading Jiangmen: Mission to restore faded glory

Huizhou: Set for an upgrade

With forests, beaches and traditional villages, Huizhou has big potential in tourism. The city is also aiming to ride the tech-upgrade momentum created by the GBA masterplan. Here is a deeper dive into one of the Bay’s more spacious municipalities.

Continue reading Huizhou: Set for an upgrade

Zhongshan pledges to catch up

As the annual report cards have been read out by each of the GBA’s nine mayors in recent days, it has become clearer that 2019 was much worse for the “little tigers” than for the advanced-manufacturing giants: Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou have been hit harder by the external trade slowdown than Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan. (Zhuhai has been an exceptional case because of Hengqin’s development.)

They and their bosses, the party secretaries, have now all trooped up to Guangzhou for the provincial gatherings, where they must explain to each other what is going on at home. Some are coy. Others, like Zhongshan’s newly installed Party Secretary, Lai Zehua, have chosen to bravely lay out how bad the situation has become, while pledging to catch up with a bold industrial-upgrading plan in the coming years. 

Continue reading Zhongshan pledges to catch up

Zhuhai joins GBA tech drive

Zhuhai announced today its new masterplan for technological development, an ambitious blueprint that aims to transform the once-sleepy fishing village on the western side of the Greater Bay Area into a tech powerhouse. At the same time, details were released of Macau’s new Greater Bay Area Fund, which will raise 100 billion yuan initially and is focused on creating a southern version of Beijing’s futuristic Xiongan New District in the southern area of Hengqin, the special zone facing Macau’s casinos in Cotai.

According to a news release from the Zhuhai government, quoted by Nanfang Daily, the new tech policy is aimed at drawing a “road map” for the city to join the Greater Bay Area’s bigger project of becoming a globally competitive science and technology innovation hub.

Continue reading Zhuhai joins GBA tech drive

Xi lands, blesses Macau

President Xi Jinping began his three-day visit to Macau today by getting off the plane and immediately telling the Greater Bay’s smaller SAR that he was proud of all it had achieved these past 20 years. 

The love is mutual, it would seem, as Macau has laid on a gushing display of patriotism ahead of the most important event of the past two decades since its return to Chinese control. This has included its security forces being placed on high alert. The HZMB has been manned by armed police just inside Guangdong waters; the ferry terminals have seen reduced sailings and strict checkpoints; and Gongbei, the main land crossing from the mainland, has been heavily beefed up with uniformed and plainclothed police. 

Continue reading Xi lands, blesses Macau

Shenzhen keeps cranking out jobs

Shenzhen, a city with 13 million registered residents, has a workforce of 11,681,100, up 3.3% over last year’s total.

A workforce equal to more than 90% of all residents is only possible, of course, because Shenzhen’s actual population is more than 22 million, once migrant workers are added.

Moreover, according to local media, 151,900 jobs were added to the city’s economy this year, which was slightly above its annual target, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 2.22%. Not a single registered household reported being without at least one breadwinner. 

Continue reading Shenzhen keeps cranking out jobs

President gives Macau three days

President Xi Jinping lands in Macau on Wednesday. He has decided to devote three full days of his busy schedule to spending time with people in the Special Administrative Region, culminating in the 20th anniversary celebrations on Friday, December 20. 

He has never done this before. Not even Hong Kong has received this much attention from the big man previously. For his last visit, five years ago, he (memorably) jetted in, gave a speech, and jetted out again. 

Why a man who runs a country of 1.4 billion people is devoting three days of his schedule to 670,000 of them should be obvious by now for anyone who has observed the region for the past six months, let alone the past 20 years: Hong Kong has been unruly and ungrateful; Macau has been loyal and patriotic. A message needs to be sent: if you behave, and if you love your country, you get rewarded.

Continue reading President gives Macau three days