PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (12): 1633-1643.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.12.005

Special Issue: 粤港澳大湾区

• Special Column: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reflections on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: A perspective from political geography

Ning AN(), Ling MA, Hong ZHU*()   

  1. Centre for Human Geography and Urban Development, School of Geographical Science, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2017-10-16 Revised:2018-03-10 Online:2018-01-28 Published:2018-01-28
  • Contact: Hong ZHU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41630635, No.41701149, No.41701146


Most recently, China has proposed the Belt and Road initiative in an effort to establish a form of multilateral trade cooperation mechanism. This initiative is meaningful for the construction of a healthy global economic structure and the breaking of US-initiated hegemony global economic structure. The notion of "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area" is a refresh regional concept developed exactly in such a context. In this sense, this notion is inevitably imbued with the meaning of political geography. This article therefore argues that studies related to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area should not be limited to discussions within segregated practical disciplines, but considered on the macro-level, such as with the perspectives of political geography. In so doing, this article puts forward some suggestions from the lens of modern "vertical-horizontal" spatial management system, the integration of geo-cultures, and geo-economy. First, this article insists that the proposal of the concept of bay economy itself is a type of spatial management thoughts that stresses "upscaling." The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is under a rather complex and multi-scale space structure that should pay attention to the competitive and cooperative relations among different cities and regions. It is important to adjust the scale, in particular to the national scale to tackle problems faced in the process of integrating the development of the whole area. Second, this article argues that there is a potential for weakening the integration of various geo-cultures in the process of developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It is very important to discuss how to deal with the "identity crisis" between Hong Kong and the mainland of China, which, to a significant extent, provides stable social environment for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Third, this article argues that it is important to put the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into the framework of geo-economy, which underlines the importance of the requirement of the state power on economic development as well as the importance of economic development on power exercises. Finally, this article proposes an agenda to generate suggestions on the scientific development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area from multiple perspectives in other disciplines in the future.

Key words: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, political geography, politics of scale, geo-culture, geo-economy