Clustering characteristics of COVID-19 cases within cities and influencing factors are of significant referential value for epidemic prevention and control. In this study, we conducted spatial clustering analysis, factor analysis, and regression analysis on 458 COVID-19 confirmed cases from 21 January to 24 February 2020, and we used mobile phone signaling data, and environmental data to analyze the spatiotemporal variability of epidemic characteristics in Chongqing Municipality at the residential community scale and the influencing factors. The results show that: 1) Temporally, the number of confirmed cases showed a rapid increasing trend in the beginning, and most of the cases were imported cases. In the late stage, the increase rate lowered, and the main trend turned into local transmission (including inter-community, intra-community, and intra-family transmissions), among which intra-family transmissions made up the largest portion (23%). 2) Spatially, the cases showed significant clustering characteristics, and aggregation level increased with time. The hot spots of all cases were distributed in the west and northeast Chongqing. The hot spots of local cases were mainly concentrated in the northwestern and southwestern regions where population density and economic development level were higher, while the hot spots of imported cases were mainly concentrated in the central and northeastern regions adjacent to Hubei Province. 3) The regression results between the density of all cases, local cases, imported cases and four factors obtained by factor analysis (urban traffic factor, intra-community activity factor, service provision factor, and residents' distribution factor) provide some insights. Transportation facility level was closely related to the density of confirmed cases. Service places such as stores, supermarkets, and restaurants significantly contributed to the spread of the virus. Inter-community transmission was an important factor in local clustering of cases, while imported cases mostly occurred in densely populated areas. Hence, targeted measures should be adopted for future epidemic prevention and control according to various epidemic transmission patterns in different regions, such as paying attention to imported cases in the central and northeastern parts of Chongqing, and focusing on avoidance of local transmission in northwest and southwest. Moreover, measures should be strengthened in the areas with dense urban traffic and resident population to effectively prevent the outbreak from rebounding.
Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines are the three major state-owned airlines in China, and they have significant influences in the air transportation market. Market competition of the three airlines has always been an important research topic in economics, management, and geography. Based on the flight schedule data, this study constructed a market share index and a market overlap index and used them to examine the structure and competition of the three major airlines on the Chinese and international markets in 2005 and 2015. The results are as follow: 1) The markets of the three major airlines have expanded rapidly over the decade of 2005-2015. In China, the three airlines have added navigation airports mainly in the central and western regions, especially in Heilongjiang Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Guizhou Province. These provinces are the new major market competition places. Among the three major airlines, China Southern Airlines has the largest number of absolutely dominant airports and flight routes, China Eastern Airlines has the largest increase, and Air China has a relatively small market. 2) Spatially, the three major airlines show significant regional differences in the domestic key markets, and each has a great advantage in its respective hub airports. The dominant routes of the three major airlines mainly form radial networks around their hub airports. Routes concentrated in domestic air transportation are mainly represented by competition among two of the three major airlines. With increasing market competition, the market shares of the three airlines in most of the major domestic airports and routes decreased. 3) In the international market, East Asia and Southeast Asia are areas where the three major airlines have focused. Their navigation airports, flights, and competing airports are mostly located here. In particular, Japan and South Korea are the countries of most severe competition of the three major airlines. However, the competition of the three major airlines in the international flight routes is not obvious—this is because they mainly set up routes between their hub airports and international airports, and their operating bases are very different.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and "unimpeded trade" is one of the priorities of cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China. It is important to examine the spatio-temporal characteristics of international trade between China and Pakistan for promoting economic prosperity and regional cooperation along CPEC. This study examined the spatio-temporal characteristics of trade cooperation between China and Pakistan, and analyzed its influencing factors using a stochastic frontier gravity model. The findings of this research are as follows: First, the scale of China-Pakistan trade is small but growing fast; China has trade surplus that continues to increase, and Pakistan shows low status in the global trade network of China; in China-Pakistan trade, China mainly exports capital-intensive products such as machinery and electrical equipment, and imports textile raw materials, textile products and other primary products, and labor-intensive products. Second, significant spatial differences exist in the trade scale and commodity structure of provinces in China with Pakistan; notably, eastern coastal provinces in China have significant advantages in terms of trade scale with Pakistan, while western provinces, except Xinjiang, have limited trade with Pakistan. Third, most of China's provinces have undergone significant changes in the structure of trade commodities, among which provinces with diverse commodity structures, such as Xinjiang and Shandong, have relatively little change. Fourth, higher economic development level and larger market size of provinces in China significantly promote China-Pakistan trade; shipping distance shows negative impact on China-Pakistan trade; shared border provides good conditions for cross-border trade; the construction of railway and shipping ports has shown a significant promoting effect on trade. Fifth, great trade potential still exists between provinces in China and Pakistan, especially in Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Shaanxi provinces and autonomous regions.
Community-oriented new retail is a new business model and important area of interaction between business and community, and worth further examination from the view of urban space. Based on the data of Freshippo stores in Nanjing, related points of interest (POIs) and areas of interest (AOIs), we use statistical analysis, spatial analysis, and field investigation to explore the service types and objects, spatial patterns, and location factors of Freshippo stores, in order to provide some recommendations for the optimization of business development. The results indicate that: 1) The service objects of Freshippo stores in Nanjing are mainly communities, supplemented by hotels and office buildings. The most of customers are young and middle-aged people with certain economic status and consumption ability. 2) There are five Freshippo stores in the urban areas and seven Freshippo stores in the near suburban areas, which form three clusters in the north-south direction. All stores have a point location with irregular service areas, which forms a core-periphery structure. The actual scope of delivery is different from the 3km buffer area. 3) The location choice of Freshippo stores is mainly affected by the density of communities and transportation conditions, and also dependent on land price and business zones, while competitors have a slight impact on the choice of the store locations. The stores are mainly located in medium and high-density areas of communities, marginal areas of business districts, both sides of the main roads, and the medium land value areas. Online delivery service is used to expand the scope of services to acquire more potential target customers. Finally, we explore the influencing mechanism of location choice from three aspects of consumer groups, operating costs and brand competition, and put forward some recommendations for the optimization of development in the future.
Fan economy is a rapidly emerging business in the Internet era. However, the existing literature lacks research on fan economy from a geographical perspective. Based on the theory of network space, and taking TikTok livestreaming commerce host as an example, combined with the influencing factors of e-commerce and urban amenity theory, this study constructed an index system of influencing factors affecting the spatial distribution of Chinese livestreaming commerce host. Using location quotient, global Moran's I, and cold-hot spot spatial analysis methods, we analyzed the spatial agglomeration characteristics of Chinese livestreaming commerce host, and the geographic factors that affect livestreaming commerce host distribution through spatial regression. The results indicate that: 1) China's fan economy shows a significant spatial agglomeration, and it is highly concentrated in the eastern coastal areas, with Guangzhou and Hangzhou as the most prominent. 2) The digital economy represented by livestreaming is reshaping China's original city tier systems. Cities with entertainment media, e-commerce, and characteristic tourism (such as Changsha, Jinhua, and Lijiang), are very attractive to livestreaming commerce hosts, even more than some first-tier cities (such as Beijing and Shanghai). 3) Through spatial regression analysis, it is found that the environment for e-commerce startups and cultural tourism have a strong explanatory power for the spatial distribution of livestreaming commerce hosts. The convenience of living and the natural environment also have an important impact, and the impact of human capital is small. At the same time, the number of patents has a significant crowding out effect on livestreaming commerce hosts, and livestreaming commerce has a strong grassroots nature. This research provides detailed empirical cases for in-depth understanding of the spatial process of fan economy and its influence mechanism and provides a reference for local governments to promote the development of digital economy and formulate talent introduction policies.
Scientific analysis of the spatial reconstruction of industrial development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration not only can contribute to expanding the scope and depth of research on industrial spatial change, but also can serve the national strategy of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development. From the perspective of global value chain (GVC), this study employed the method of measuring the industrial proportion change after calibration based on the statistical data from 2000 to 2014 and the national industrial enterprise database for 2001, 2006, and 2013 to investigate the spatial pattern of industrial development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration, and proposed the optimization strategies accordingly. The main conclusions are as follows: 1) The industrial spatial reconstruction is an important driving force for promoting the development and maturation of an urban agglomeration. Following the trend of globalization and embedding in global value chains are of great significance to advancing the upgrading of urban agglomerations, and domestic industrial spatial reconstruction is an important approach for improving the industrial cooperation network and accelerating the integration of urban agglomerations. In addition, the interaction of GVC restructuring, industrial suburbanization, and resource and environmental carrying capacity is the foudation of the double C-shaped spatial pattern. 2) With regard to the international industrial spatial reconstruction, Tianjin has become the core of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration to undertake international industrial transfer, followed by Beijing, while the development of other cities is relatively lagging behind. On the whole, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration is still in a lower position in the GVC, which is not conducive to the promotion of regional competitiveness. 3) In repect to the industrial spatial change within the urban agglomeration, industrial reconstruction is mailny concentrated in the inner C-shape region consisting of Beijing, Tianjin, Tangshan, and Cangzhou cities, while the intensity of spatial reconstruction in other regions is relatively weak. Different industries present diverse features of reconstruction: texile and garment industry is market-dominated within the GVC; chemical industry is influenced by both environmental regulations and dependence on water resources; steel industry is government-dominated; and pharmaceutical industry is regulated by the government under the influences of the GVC. 4) Based on the development of industrial spatial reconstruction, resource and environmental carrying capacity, and the double C-shaped spatial pattern, this article puts forward some suggestions on optimizing the industrial spatial patterns of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration. As the economic core of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration, the inner C-shaped region is recommended to accelerate industrial upgrading to become a world-class industrial highland. The northern part of the outer C-shaped area is proposed to strengthen ecological environment protection for the sustainable development of the urban agglomeration, while the southern part of the outer C-shaped area should promote industrial transformation to become a solid support for industrial upgrading in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration. The two C-shaped regions should be interconnected to ensure the implementation of the coordinated development strategy of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration.
Innovation is the primary driving force behind development. As an important part of the regional innovation system and the core supporting carrier for the accumulation of innovative resources, innovation platforms are the main way to promote innovation-driven development. This study took the urban agglomerations of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River Basin as the research area and used the nearest neighbor index, kernel density estimation, Ripley's K function, and geo-detector to explore the spatial distribution characteristics and influencing factors of the innovation platforms above provincial level in the urban agglomerations in 2017. The results show that: 1) The overall spatial distribution of the innovation platforms in the urban agglomerations is clustered, showing a triangular distribution pattern with Wuhan, Changsha, and Nanchang as the cores. 2) Innovation platforms of various scales and functional types exhibit significant agglomeration characteristics, but there exist certain differences in agglomeration intensity and state among them. 3) The overall innovation platforms and various types of innovation platforms show scale effect, which first strengthens and then weakens with the change of geographical distance. 4) The spatial differentiation of the innovation platforms is the result of multiple factors. Strength of financial resources, degree of informationalization, level of foreign investment, and conditions of human capital are most significant, followed by traffic accessibility, urbanization level, economic base, and innovation atmosphere.
On the basis of the Third National Report on Climate Change of China and using the latest scientific literature on climate change of China since 2012 and China climate bulletins, this study assessed the climate changes of four national-level economic zones of China—the Bohai Economic Rim (BER), the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB), the South China Economic Zone (SCEZ), and the Northeast China Economic Zone (NEEZ)—during recent decades. The main conclusions are: 1) Annual temperature increased at a rate of 0.35 ℃/10 a, 0.20 ℃/10 a, 0.20 ℃/10 a, and 0.33 ℃/10 a for the BER, YREB, SCEZ, and NEEZ, respectively, over the period 1961 to 2018. Although there was a climate warming slowdown in these regions during 1998-2014, the annual temperature after 2014 broke the warmest records for the BER, YREB, and SCEZ. 2) Precipitation changes over the period 1961 to 2018 were lower than 1 mm/10 a for each region, but there were significant inter-annual and inter-decadal oscillations. Precipitation during 2012-2018 were mostly more than normal, but with large spatiotemporal variability. The precipitation of NEEZ in 2013 and precipitation of YREB in 2016 respectively reached the highest values since 1961, but precipitation of Liaoning Province in 2014 reached the lowest since 1961. 3) During 2014-2018, there were more frequent extreme heat events in each region, whose maximum temperature broke historical heat extremes or exceeded the extreme high temperature threshold, that is, the 9th decile. Meanwhile, there were increases in the frequency of inter-seasonal droughts and extreme rainstorms in the BER and NEEZ; and there were more rainstorm days in the YREB and more severe impacts of typhoons in the SCEZ. There were also extensive extreme low temperature events in the context of climate warming in the YREB and NEEZ.
With the increasing economic interaction between cities, capital flow across regions has gradually become a key factor affecting the regional economic disparities. Cross-regional enterprise investment is regarded as the micro embodiment of capital flows. It is of great significance to explore the characteristics of cross-regional enterprise investment for reducing regional economic disparities. Thus, this study examined the cross-regional investment network using the cross-regional investment data of Chinese listed companies in 1998-2018, and analyzed the characteristics of the spatial evolution of China's cross-regional investment network and its influencing factors at the national and regional levels. The results show that: the spatial agglomeration trend of node centrality in China's cross-regional investment network at the national and regional levels is obvious and the cities with high node centrality are mainly concentrated in the five major urban agglomerations. There are obvious hierarchical structure, spatial heterogeneity, and path dependence of the cross-regional investment network; the net investment inflows and outflows are mainly in the eastern region, and the investment activities tend to develop toward the central and western regions; the influence of city economic development level, industrial structure, and financial environment varies across regions and types of cities with different population scales.
The spatio-temporal distribution characteristics and change of mountain populations are of great significance for coordinating human-land relationship and implementing the rural revitalization strategy in the process of urbanization. Based on the data of three agricultural censuses in Luoyang City, this study selected 318 administrative villages in Song County as the research objects, and used a GIS spatial analysis tool and geographically weighted regression to analyze the spatial pattern of population distribution and its influencing factors. The results show that: 1) The population of Song County is extremely uneven in spatial distribution. The high density areas are clustered near the main traffic lines and in areas with relatively flat terrain, and over time, they changed from point to spread and strip distribution. 2) On the whole, the population growth is bounded by the high-speed Luoluan Highway, and shows a pattern of rapid growth to the northwest and slow growth to the southeast. The high-speed growth areas are mainly concentrated in the county seat and a few townships around the northwestern part of the Luoluan Highway. 3) The population growth centers are also located in the towns around the county seat and the Luhun Reservoir, and the towns in the southern mountainous areas are expected to form new population agglomeration areas. 4) The population distribution pattern of the county is the result of the interaction of natural conditions, geographical location, and public services. Among them, the accessibility time of county seat has the greatest impact on population distribution, followed by topography. The impact of arable land area and accessibility time of middle school are relatively small, but the impact of different factors has spatial and temporal heterogeneity. The above conclusions imply that mountainous counties can take into account the differences in natural conditions and resource endowments, and make use of urbanization layout, infrastructure construction, and public services adjustments to promote the optimization of population distribution.
In recent years, rural geographers have made in-depth research on the utilization of resources, environmental change, economic development, spatial system, and regional pattern of rural areas. However, the research on the subjects/actors of rural development is relatively weak. Most of these studies focus on the temporal and spatial changes of population and interregional migration. In contrast, insufficient attention is paid to the subgroups of rural development subjects/actors. Rural elite is one of the main subjects of rural governance in China and an important force to promote the modernization of rural governance. Rural elite can often stimulate endogenous motivations, integrate external resources, and organize people to carry out a series of actions based on policy guidance and village resources to promote rural transformation and development. In-depth research on the roles, activities, and problems of rural elite in rural governance has important practical significance. This article analyzed the related concepts of rural elite and explored the active role of rural elite in maintaining the stability of rural society, promoting the economic development of villages, driving entrepreneurship, and fulfilling social responsibilities. We also analyzed the negative effects of autocracy and "distributed order" caused by the concentration of power, and discussed the obstacles and deficiencies of rural governance by rural elite. Rural elite refers to the individuals who are recognized by most villagers in a specific rural area, have strong motivation of development, personal ability, and social network, and are willing to lead or have driven rural development through own expertise. Generally, rural elite is the "engine" for promoting progress, the "locomotive" for collective action, the pioneer for village development, the "bridge builder" for external contact, and the leader of rural vitalization. However, if the supervision mechanism is absent, rural elite may also bring negative effects on the democracy, economic development, and law and order of local areas. In order to better realize the modernization of the rural governance system and governance capacity in China, it is recommended to further strengthen case studies of rural elite governance, deepen the theoretical research of rural elite governance, and explore innovative models for training rural elites. Specifically, it is necessary to strengthen the research on the emerging mechanism and cultivation model of rural elites, deepen the research on the mechanism, mode, and effect of governance by rural elites, pay attention to the new situation and problems of governance by rural elites, and explore the data and methods for the research on rural elites. Strengthening the research of rural elite is helpful for enriching the content and theory of rural geography.
Trade facilitation plays an important role in the economic cooperation of the countries along the Belt and Road. Increasing the level of trade facilitation is conducive to promote the orderly and freely flow of economic factors in the region. Based on the perspective of trade facilitation and existing literature review, this study constructed an evaluation system of trade facilitation with 29 indicators, analyzed the development trend, spatial pattern, and development mode of trade facilitation in the countries along the Belt and Road from 2013 to 2017, and put forward some policy recommendations. The results show that: 1) Since 2013, the level of trade facilitation in the countries along the Belt and Road has been slowly rising, and the six subregions ranked from high to low according to the increase in trade facilitation levels are Mongolia and Russia, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, West Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. 2) Trade facilitation level of the countries along the Belt and Road showed a spatial pattern of high in the east and west and low in the center, and high in the south and low in the north. And the spatial differences gradually narrowed. 3) The change of the second-level indicators was relatively consistent with the overall trade facilitation. China ranks high among the Belt and Road countries on the second-level indicators except business environment. 4) Trade facilitation can be divided into eight modes through k-means cluster analysis. "High level comprehensive development" and "Low level comprehensive development" were the main development modes of the countries along the Belt and Road. "Lagging behind in customs clearance costs and international cooperation", "Leading in domestic trading environment" and "Leading in infrastructure construction" have become important development modes for some countries in Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.
Based on daily maximum temperature and monthly precipitation data of 49 meteorological stations on the Loess Plateau during 1960-2016 and using the 90th percentile of the temperature as extreme temperature thresholds and standardized precipitation index (SPI), this study examined the spatiotemporal variation characteristics of heatwaves and droughts and the dynamics of concurrent droughts and heatwaves across the Loess Plateau. The results show that: 1) The occurrence frequency of heatwaves presented an increasing trend on the Loess Plateau during the recent 57 years with a liner tendency of 0.29 times/a, of which a significant increasing trend was detected after 1995. The significantly increasing areas were mainly distributed in the northeast of Shanxi Province, eastern Qinghai Province, and southern and central Gansu Province. 2) Standardized precipitation index (SPI) showed a downward trend in the recent 57 years, indicating a trend from water-logging to drought, and the early 1990s was a turning point. Particularly, areas with the declining trend of SPI12 accounted for 62% of the whole study area, and regions with significant drought were mainly distributed in the south of the gully areas of the Loess Plateau, the southern part of Northern Shaanxi, the south of Shanxi Province, and the east of Gansu Province. 3) The simultaneous occurrence frequency of droughts and heatwaves showed an overall increasing trend, with a growth rate of 0.66 times/10 a. From 1960 to 1979 it showed a declining trend of -0.26 times/a, then an increasing trend of 0.52 times/a from 1980 to 2002, while a steady increasing trend was detected after 2003. Spatially, the high incidence of droughts and heatwaves was observed in the eastern of Shanxi, the south of Northern Shaanxi, and the southwest of Gansu; areas with increasing trend were mainly concentrated in the northeast of Shanxi, central and eastern Gansu, and northern Ningxia.
National key towns are the leader in the development of small towns. The formation of scientific and reasonable national key town layouts is of great significance for optimizing China's urbanization strategy. Taking the 1887 and 3675 national key towns published in 2004 and 2014 respectively as samples, this study used geodector and the geographically weighted regression (GWR) model to explore the changing characteristics of their distribution and analyze the influencing factors of national key town layouts and effects at the prefecture level. The results show that: 1) After the adjustment by the government, the balance of the layout and construction effect of national key towns is enhanced. The main gathering areas moved westward and northward, the distribution of cold spots and hotspots break through the "Hu Huanyong Line", and the degree of differentiation of economic radiation effect is weakened, reflecting the powerful influence of policy factors. In addition to the inter-county balance and regional preferential policies, the distribution of national key towns is also significantly affected by factors such as altitude, road network density, and resident population urbanization rate. 2) The combination of the factor detector, the GWR model, and the interaction detector can more accurately characterize the mode of action, direction, path, and intensity of the influencing factors. The layout of national key towns is not the result of the uniform, independent, and direct effect of the five significant factors, but the product of the synergistic effect of the interaction of the factors with spatial heterogeneity. 3) The synergy between the inter-county balance policy and other factors is the dominant force in the formation of the existing layout of the key towns; the effect of the regional preferential policy is overall positive, but the target areas need to be more accurately identified.
Development and evolution of large rivers is a classic subject of geomorphology. As one of the seven large rivers in China, the Huaihe River locates in China's north-south transitional zone. However, there is much controversy about its formation and development. In this study, we explored and discussed the formation of different sections of the Huaihe River based on the analysis of topography and sedimentary stratigraphy. The results show that there were two major adjustments of the river system in the Huaihe River Basin during the Cenozoic period, which occurred at the end of the Paleogene and the end of the Pliocene, respectively. During the Paleogene and Neogene periods, lacustrine sediments were extensively developed in the Huaihe River Basin, with the sedimentary environment dominated by rivers and lakes. However, during the Quaternary period, the sedimentary environment in the basin gradually changed to a river-dominated system. The formation of the modern river-lake system in the Huaihe River Basin occurred in the early- to mid-Pleistocene. Tectonic activities and climate change were the main drivers of the evolution of the Huaihe River system. The Qingzang Movement from the late Pliocene to the early Pleistocene led to the disintegration of the Neogene hydrological system in the Huaihe River Basin. In addition, the cooling climate in the Late Cenozoic may be the cause of decreasing lake developments and increasing river activites.
The urban heat island (UHI) effect has had an important impact on building energy demand in big cities. It is of great significance, therefore, to evaluate the impact of the UHI on building energy demand in a metropolis in order to save energy for existing buildings and to better design for future buildings. Based on the hourly data from automatic weather stations and four representative rural weather stations selected by satellite remote-sensing method, the impacts of urban heat island intensity (IUHI) on building heating and cooling loads of different time scales (annual, daily, and hourly) in Tianjing City were evaluated by simulating hour-by-hour loads of the typical residential buildings. The results show that: 1) The heating loads decreased and the cooling loads increased with the increase of the IUHI in the past nine years. The decreased magnitude of the yearly heating load was larger than the increased magnitude of the yearly cooling load. When the IUHI increased by 1 ℃, the annual mean heating loads decreased by 4.01 kWh/m2 and the annual mean cooling loads increased by 1.05 kWh/m2 in the urban areas compared to the rural areas. 2) The heating loads were the highest in the period from late December to late January of the following year, and the daily mean loads in the urban areas were about 10% lower than that in the rural areas. The cooling loads were the highest from late July to early August, and the daily mean loads in urban areas were about 6% higher than that in the rural areas. 3) Both heating and cooling loads were higher during the nighttime than daytime. The period from 18:00 to 07:00 Beijing Time was the high load stage in the urban and rural areas, regardless of heating period or cooling period. From 11:00 to 15:00 Beijing Time, however, the loads were low in the heating period but high in the cooling period, which may have been caused by changing temperature and the different heating or cooling demand of the urban residents. Therefore, the impact of UHI on hourly and daily building loads should be fully considered to promote the effective management of urban heating and cooling operation for reducing building energy consumption in big cities of northern China like Tianjin.
Settlement pattern, an important part of the human-nature system, is the foundation of rural geography, and it has become a hotspot in geographic research. Scientific analysis and characterization of settlement patterns are significant for promoting the development of urbanization, ethnic unity, and well-off society in rural minority areas. However, there is still a lack of research on the settlement patterns of ethnic minority areas, especially in those multi-ethnic group gathered areas. This study depicted the settlement patterns of seven ethnic minority groups (including Hani, Yi, Zhuang, Han, Miao, Yao, and Dai) in the Hani Rice Terraces World Heritage area, which is a typical multi-ethnic group gathered area in the southwest of China. The results show that: 1) In terms of spatial locations, 68% of the settlements in the Hani terraced fields area are located in the west and central parts of the territory, mainly in the areas of Han, Yi, and Zhuang. 2) The ethnic settlement pattern in the Hani terraced fields is characterized by the mix of Hani-Yi, accompanied by the mix of other ethnic groups. 3) In terms of location and the environment, settlements of the seven ethnic groups have significant differences in locational and environmental characteristics such as altitude, slope, temperature, precipitation, distance to river, settlement scale, cultivated land area, distance to administrative center, and grain yields. 4) The main controlling factors of the distribution of Zhuang, Miao, and Yao settlements are economic and administrative and distance to tourism centers (86.4%, 75.3%, and 92.8%); the main controlling factor of the distribution of Yi settlements are air temperature (52.0%); and the main controlling factors of the distribution of Han, Hani, and Dai settlements are precipitation (98.7%, 52.2%, and 97.0%). 5) On the whole, the settlements of Hani terraced fields formed a three-dimensional pattern of multi-ethnic symbiosis vertically, and a multi-ethnic mosaic pattern horizontally. This research can provide a reference for the construction of new rural areas in minority regions, the optimization of settlement patterns, targeted poverty alleviation, and the construction of a well-off society in an all-round way.
China and Europe are located at the east and west ends of Eurasia. The smooth flow of trade between China and Europe is an important part of the development of the Belt and Road region. At present, China-Europe economic and trade ties are still mainly maintained by sea. The connection between Chinese and European ports through shipping network is the guarantee of smooth trade. Therefore, studying the development and change of China-Europe port shipping network is of great significance for understanding and enhancing the supporting capacity of China-Europe trade links. Based on the shipping data of the past 20 years, the network of Chinese and European port routes is constructed. By portraying the complexity of the port shipping network, the spatial differentiation of the portability changes of different port nodes is revealed. Then we explored the characteristics of change of the China-Europe shipping network by the transit port system and the network organization structure. The result shows that: 1) Since 1995, the port nodes linked to the China-Europe routes have increased significantly, and the network coverage has expanded significantly. In 2005 and 2015, the network showed obvious small world and scale-free characteristics; the changes in the breadth and depth of connection and accessibility of the different ports were significantly different, with 84% of the ports being more accessible, and a few ports in the Mediterranean and the Arabian Sea showed reduced accessibility. 2) The transit port system of the China-Europe shipping network has changed from V-shaped to U-shaped. The core transit ports have become differentiated, the transit nodes have gradually become systematic, the transit paths have become more diversified, and the network stability has increased. 3) The hub and spoke structure of the China-Europe shipping network is continuously optimized, the network operation efficiency is significantly improved, and the route links are more diversified and complicated. The hub-spoke spatial model of the China-Europe port shipping network has experienced three stages of change from triangular to balanced dumbbell type and unbalanced dumbbell type, which finally formed the multi-level hub-spoke spatial organizational structure, with Shanghai and Rotterdam as the main hubs.
Rapid land use changes in the arid area of western China make the region a hotspot of global land use change research. In this study, land use inventories in the Hetian Tarim Basin in 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2016 were completed by using stratified and object-oriented image processing method based on Landsat images with a consistent spatial resolution of 30 m to reveal the characteristics of land-use change, patterns and trend, and spatial heterogeneity. The results show that from 1990 to 2016: 1) Cropland continuously expanded with an increase rate of 2.9%/a, with gradual expansion and sudden reclamation. 2) The area of construction land increased significantly at a rate of 12.1%/a, which can be mainly attributed to the increase in area of urbanization, rural residential land, and transportation land. 3) The increase in cropland and construction land resulted in the decrease of forests, shrubs, and grasslands. 4) Spatial heterogeneity in land use developments among counties of Hetian Prefecture are significant: Hetian City had the highest percentage of construction lands; Hetian County and Moyu County experienced the greatest expansion in total area and rates of change in both cropland and construction land, followed by Luopu County, Yutian County, Pishan County, Cele County, and Minfeng County with relatively slow development in cropland and construction land. The increase rates of cropland and construction land in Hetian Tarim Basin are above average in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Attention should be focused on the impact of the rapid land-use changes on eco-environmental issues in the near future.
Regional population decline has gradually become a new phenomenon in recent years, which has attracted extensive attention from scholars and the government. Using the national census data and 1% population sampling survey data, this study identified the population decline areas at the county level from 1990 to 2015 from a multi-periodical perspective. Based on the theoretical analysis of the driving factors of population decline, a cluster analysis has been conducted to reveal the spatial differences of the driving factors of population decline, which resulted in four typical cases of causes. The findings are as follows: First, the population decline areas have very different trajectories: while about 24% of them are characterized by fluctuating but overall decline, about 13% of them have experienced continuous decline, and about 5% of them have only experienced recent decline. Second, the fluctuating but overall decline county units were mainly distributed in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and Gansu, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, and Fujian Provinces, and the continuous decline county units were mainly concentrated in Sichuan, Guizhou, Chongqing, and the Northeast region, and the recent decline county units were mainly concentrated in the Northeast region, Henan, and Xinjiang. Third, there are obvious regional differences in the driving factors of population decline: the county units driven by lagged economy accounted for the highest percentage, and these units were mainly distributed in the central and western regions; the county units in the Northeast region were mainly driven by the slowed economic development and the low natural growth level; in contrast, the percentage of county units only driven by the low natural growth level is relatively low, and these units were mainly distributed in the eastern region. Based on these findings, we argue that it is necessary to pay more attention to the phenomenon of population decline at the regional scale, and take targeted measures by fully considering the trend of change and driving factors of population decline in different regions.