PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (11): 1368-1376.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.11.004

• Orientation and Strategy • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Background of the Yangtze River Economic Belt development strategy and geography interpretation of its innovative development

Xiaogan YU1(), Lei WANG1, Qingke YANG1,2, Shilin YE1,2   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2015-11-25 Published:2015-11-25


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.

Key words: development strategy, innovative development, scientific questions, geography study, Yangtze River Economic Belt