REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PATTERNS OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE IN CHINA
Jin Fengjun (Institute of Geography, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101) James Jixian Wang (Department of Geology and Geography, Hong Kong University)
As an important part of regional development, the improvement of regional infrastructure is dependent on investment ability based on regional economic level. On the other hand, the superior regional development is based on an advantageous infrastructure system. In this paper, the regional development patterns of transportation and communication infrastructure in China are discussed. Since 1990, the investment of infrastructure of transportation and communication has increased very quickly, which has stimulated the change of the infrastructure system. However, different regional patterns took shape because of different investment scales and varied bases among provincial regions. “Priority to the superiors” is adopted as the basic regional development pattern for infrastructure construction in the 1990s. That is, relative developed regions with high investment capacities, such as most coastal provinces, have experienced a rapid development of infrastructure system in the 1990s. On the contrary, in the developing regions with limited investment capacities, such as many interior provinces, infrastructure systems have been developed slowly in the 1990s. This enlarged the development disparity between coastal areas and inland areas. In the 1990s, there are four types in transportation and communication infrastructure development among the provincial regions. First, there are 8 provinces with most advanced infrastructural base and a most rapid development in the country, namely Beijing, Liaoning, Shanghai, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangdong. Second, there are 5 provinces including Hebei, Anhui, Fujian, Henan, Hubei, which have a more advanced infrastructural base and a more rapid development. Third another 11 provinces and autonomous regions remain at the average national level, they are Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hainan, Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Shanxi. Finally the rest 6 provinces and autonomous regions have a feature of less advanced base and lower development speed in the country, namely Xizang, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Guizhou. In addition, some key factors are discussed.