June 29, 2015
There is not enough understanding in India that the Chinese Belt and the Road project is a consequence of an economic imperative in China, which is undergoing structural change, and has less to do with geopolitics as is easily assumed.
A first-time visitor to hot and humid Shenzhen, the port city of Guangdong province in southeast China, will be stuck by the grandeur of what is clearly a modern mega-city. The city, which abuts Hong Kong and a gateway to southern China, is a showcase of the country’s reforms era (1978-present).
What was once a fishing village in the late 1970s, has transformed itself after a special economic zone was designated there in 1979. Many parts were built up to accommodate businesses and factories to aid in the rapid urbanisation that was wrought out from foreign investment, dedicated urban governance and by leveraging the coasts of the Pearl River delta and the South China Sea. Within four decades, the city has grown into a tertiary hub, host to high-technology companies, highly skilled manpower and an equivalent of the Silicon Valley of the United States. Today, the port city serves an important function in China’s outreach to the world by being a major outpost in the Maritime Silk Road project. It is also the base of some of the busiest container terminals on the Pearl River delta.