Yunnan-A Chinese Bridgehead to Asia

Yunnan-A Chinese Bridgehead to Asia

A Case Study of China’s Political and Economic Relations with its Neighbours

1st Edition - May 15, 2013

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  • Author: Tim Summers
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780857094445
  • eBook ISBN: 9780857094452

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The Chinese Government’s five-year strategy for social and economic development to 2015 includes the aim of making the southwestern province of Yunnan a bridgehead for ‘opening the country’ to southeast Asia and south Asia. Yunnan - A Chinese Bridgehead to Asia traces the dynamic process which has led to this policy goal, a process through which Yunnan is being repositioned from a southwestern periphery of the People’s Republic of China to a ‘bridgehead’ between China and its regional neighbours. It shows how this has been expressed in ideas and policy frameworks, involvement in regional institutions, infrastructure development, and changing trade and investment flows, from the 1980s to the present.Detailing the wider context of the changes in China's global interactions, especially in Asia, the book uses Yunnan's case to demonstrate the extent of provincial agency in global interactions in reform-era China, and provides new insights into both China’s relationships with its Asian neighbours and the increasingly important economic engagement between developing countries.

Key Features

  • Offers a new perspective on Yunnan
  • Contains historical depth: understanding the background and developments over time means that this ‘China watching’ book will not date quickly
  • Takes a provincial view of China’s international relations


Scholars and practitioners with interests in China’s international relations and regional developments

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • List of figures and tables
    • List of abbreviations
    • Note on use of Chinese
    • Acknowledgements
    • About the author
    • Map of Asia
    • Yunnan timeline
    • Yunnan place names in Chinese
    • Chapter 1: Introduction: why Yunnan?
      • Abstract:
      • Previous studies on Yunnan
      • A provincial case study of China’s political and economic relations
      • Structure of the book
    • Chapter 2: China in a changing world
      • Abstract:
      • Western China and the global economy
      • China and its Asian neighbours
      • Provincial agency in China’s global interactions
    • Chapter 3: Yunnan’s history in regional perspective
      • Abstract:
      • From Dian kingdom to Mongol conquest
      • From Ming integration to ‘inward rebalancing’ in the Qing
      • Late Qing decline and European incursions
      • Reform, revolution and the war period in Yunnan
      • Yunnan from 1949
    • Chapter 4: Repositioning Yunnan: ideas and policy
      • Abstract:
      • Early ideas of ‘opening up’ in Yunnan
      • Turning point: 1992
      • Developing ideas and policy
      • The ‘great international transit route’ and CAFTA
      • National belonging
      • Repositioning continued
      • Conclusion
      • Acknowledgements
    • Chapter 5: Yunnan and regional institutions
      • Abstract:
      • Early regional engagement: Greater Mekong Subregion
      • Yunnan and BCIM
      • New dynamics in the region(s) – CAFTA and a revitalised GMS
      • Guangxi and regional institutions
      • Yunnan and domestic regionalism
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 6: Infrastructure development
      • Abstract:
      • The early 1990s: limited transport infrastructure
      • Transport infrastructure in 2001
      • Further developments: 2006 and beyond
      • Energy security and infrastructure development
      • Challenges: politics and international relations
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 7: From border trade to ‘going out’
      • Abstract:
      • New trends from 2001
      • ‘Going out’: outward investment from Yunnan
      • Domestic trade and investment
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 8: Conclusion
      • Abstract:
      • Provincial agency and ‘competitive internationalisation’
      • China, Asia and global political economy
      • References
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 250
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2013
  • Published: May 15, 2013
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780857094445
  • eBook ISBN: 9780857094452

About the Author

Tim Summers

Tim Summers writes on the politics, economy, and international relations of contemporary China. He is a Senior Consulting Fellow with Chatham House in London, teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and advises corporates and investors on China. Tim holds a PhD in Chinese Studies from CUHK, and an MA from the University of Cambridge. He was British Consul-General in Chongqing from 2004 to 2007, when he traveled extensively in southwest China, including in Yunnan.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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