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    Constructing a spatial pattern of development and protection in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and its analysis
    Wen CHEN, Wei SUN, Jiawei WU, Cheng CHEN, Dongsheng YAN
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2015, 34 (11): 1388-1397.   DOI: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.006
    Abstract1130)   HTML4)    PDF (12150KB)(1940)      

    The Yangtze River Basin has integrated economic, social, and ecological systems, and is the most important east-west axis of national spatial development of China. It has an important strategic position in the overall pattern of regional development. In response to the new trends of global economy and trade, national and regional socioeconomic transformation, and greater environmental constraints for development at this time, a new economic supporting area relying on the golden waterway of the Yangtze River has been proposed by the Chinese government. This requires a balanced pattern in population, resources, and environment development and protection in this area. Therefore, based on the point-axis, zoning, and multi-center network spatial organization structures, this article discusses how to construct the spatial patterns. Using the results from regional difference analysis and spatial development suitability assessment, the "one axis and two wings, three zones and six corridors" development pattern, "six areas" spatial pattern for agriculture, and "five barriers" for ecological security strategy of the Yangtze River Economic Belt are proposed; recommendations on development orientations, paths, and regulations of the various regions are made; and main scientific issues concerning the spatial pattern of the Yangtze River Economic Belt are raised in this article.

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    Institutions and mechanisms for developing the Yangtze River Economic Belt
    Xuejun DUAN, Hui ZOU, Lei WANG
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2015, 34 (11): 1377-1387.   DOI: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.005
    Abstract1325)   HTML4)    PDF (2270KB)(1710)      

    With the recent government policy stipulating the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) as a national development strategy, sound regional institutions and mechanisms are urgently needed to ensure the development of this territorially vast and internally highly differentiated region. This article analyzes the successful experiences of developing and managing great river basins around the world and reviews the evolving institutions and mechanisms of the Yangtze River Economic Belt development and governance, and then identifies problems and some countermeasures to sustain the strategy of developing the Yangtze Economic Belt. Innovation of institutions and mechanisms is analyzed with respect to comprehensive research and development planning, regional coordination mechanism, comprehensive river basin management, and the system of laws and regulations. Currently, some central ministries and local governments have explored various innovations on institutions and mechanisms to promote regional integrated development along the Yangtze River, such as cross-river industrial parks and enclave economy construction and development, port coordination, and integration of customs clearance, among others. However, based on the result of the comparative analysis between international experiences and the local development, this study found that there exist some current problems in developing sound institutions and mechanisms for the management of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. These include the lack of a comprehensive government institution and systematic policy to support integrated management, low degree of coordination between governmental departments and territory-based administrations in watershed management, less developed regional integrated market system due to administrative barriers, as well as the lack of comprehensive laws and regulations to guarantee the sustainable development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Accordingly, the article proposes five policy recommendations to support the future development of the YREB: (1) establish a cross-sectoral administrative committee and formulate a systematic regional policy for integrated watershed management; (2) establish multi-level coordination platforms and institutions for promoting regional consultation; (3) break administrative barriers for establishing a regional integrated market system; (4) explore diversified ecological compensation methods to promote the establishment of compensation mechanisms between the upstream and downstream regions; and (5) legislate a Yangtze River integrated management law and improve the relevant legal system for sustainable development.

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    Background of the Yangtze River Economic Belt development strategy and geography interpretation of its innovative development
    Xiaogan YU, Lei WANG, Qingke YANG, Shilin YE
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2015, 34 (11): 1368-1376.   DOI: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.004
    Abstract2276)   HTML13)    PDF (804KB)(3313)      

    The Guideline of Developing the Yangtze River Economic Belt Based on the Golden Waterway issued by the State Council in 2014 is the first systematic socioeconomic development planning and recommendation by the central government on this territorially vast and internally hugely differentiated region. The Guideline is not only the development vision for the cities and provinces along the Yangtze River, but also the national development strategy for coping with the changing patterns of international political economy and adapting to the great transition of national socioeconomic development. This article first analyzes the historic and economic-geographic background of issuing the strategy of developing the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and then decodes the strategic positions and development priorities in the Guideline. The author argues that the strategy of developing the Yangtze River Economic Belt is a historical necessity along with China’s regional economic development and a significant initiative to reconstruct the pattern of political economy internationally, as well as a practical need for the country to stabilize economic growth during the period of New Normal, which is very timely and well reflects the global political economic conditions. Lastly, the article reviews the contributions of geography studies on the Yangtze River Economic Belt for developing and protecting the Yangtze River, and promoting urban and regional development along the river as well, followed by proposing some research questions for future study, including the resource potentials and environmental capacity, spatial restructuring, balancing economic development and environmental protection, and political, economic, and geographic environments of the neighboring countries.

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    Research on the construction of green ecological corridors in the Yangtze River Economic Belt
    Guishan YANG, Xibao XU, Pingxing LI
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2015, 34 (11): 1356-1367.   DOI: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.003
    Abstract1353)   HTML5)    PDF (3990KB)(3437)      

    Eco-environment protection of the Yangtze River and its river basin is the important foundation and support for the construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB). Crossing the western, central, and eastern regions of China, the Yangtze River has abundant water resources and significant ecosystem service functions. Moreover, the YREB has an important location ecologically, with diverse ecosystem types and rich biodiversity; strongly affected by human activities and natural factors, the main trend of ecological environment change, which are dominated by ecological degradation and declining environmental quality, shows significant regional differences. Based on the analysis of the basic characteristics of the environment of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, this study identified the major environmental problems and threats it faces. First, natural disasters are of diverse types and widely distributed in the YREB and have caused heavy losses. Second, water and air pollutions are still serious. Third, the ecosystems are fragile and sensitive and ecological degradation is rapidly progressing. This study proposes a series of ecological environment protection strategies, including the construction of the green ecological protection project of the Yangtze River Economic Belt; accelerating the formation of a land development pattern dominated by intensive, concentrated spatial development and natural and open ecological space; strengthening the development and protection of ecosystem integrity and connectivity; strengthening energy conservation and comprehensive watershed environmental management; as well as setting up and improving the system on ecological civilization construction.

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    Issues and suggestions on the construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt
    Yi LIU, Chenghu ZHOU, Chuansheng WANG, Guiyan SUN, Lei KANG, Ming FANG
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2015, 34 (11): 1345-1355.   DOI: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.002
    Abstract1386)   HTML9)    PDF (2575KB)(2861)      

    At present, speeding up the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) is an important strategic measure for promoting the sustained and stable growth of the Chinese economy under the New Normal state. As the main axis of China's national territorial development, the Yangtze River Economic Belt has significant locational advantages, navigation and shipping advantages, and relatively complete industrial system, therefore the economy accounted for about 45% of the national total in 2014. At the same time, it also faces some major cross-regional issues, which will restrict its future development. By examining the main development characteristics of the Yangtze River Economic Belt since the reform and opening-up, this article analyzes the main issues that present in the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt with respect to economic growth, spatial development, shipping, industry, resources and environment, urbanization, and institutions. The main problems include slow economic growth, widening regional gaps, insufficient use of water transport, homogeneity of industrial structure, low urbanization level, lack of institutional arrangements for cross-regional issues and regional cooperation. The article also discusses the main short-term developmental strategies and measures of the Yangtze River Economic Belt in order to provide some references for the government and academic circles.

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    Analysis on the spatial development structure of the Yangtze River Economic Belt
    Jie FAN, Yafei WANG, Dong CHEN, Chenghu ZHOU
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2015, 34 (11): 1336-1344.   DOI: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.001
    Abstract1402)   HTML11)    PDF (5166KB)(2780)      

    This article examines the spatial development structure of the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) with respect to the role of the YREB in the overall spatial development of China's geographical space and the characteristics of the spatial development structure of the YREB. Based on the analysis of the population and economic activity aggregation function of the YREB and the radiation effect of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), as well as the impact of globalization and regional integration on the spatial development structure of China's geographical space, this study analyzed the strategic position of the YREB. It also summarizes the characteristics of the spatial development pattern of the YREB through the analysis of the volume structure, spatial structure, and causes of resources and environment carrying capacity, spatial development suitability, and Main Function Zoning (MFZ) and cross analysis among them, and a comparison with these at the national level. Finally, according to the innovative development requirements of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, this article preliminarily examines the effects that innovative factors will have on the future strategic position and spatial structure evolution of the YREB and proposes relevant suggestions.

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