The Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong: An Evolving Cross-boundary Region under “One Country, Two Systems”

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The complementary processes of globalization and regionalization have resulted in the proliferation of cross-boundary regions in the world since the 1980s. Existing studies have primarily concentrated at supranational paradigms or nation-based level of analysis in some specific regions, such as European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), etc. This paper presents a salient sub-national cross-boundary region under “one country, two systems” in China, taking the Pearl River Delta (“the PRD” hereafter) and Hong Kong as a case. It argues that the PRD and Hong Kong have been evolving into a cross-boundary region, as a result of intensified socio-economic interaction between them over the past two decades. Previous studies have identified the role of Hong Kong as the largest source of foreign investment and entrêpot during the process of the dramatic economic development of the PRD in the 1980s and the mid-1990s. However, the changes of their relationship after Hong Kong returned to the Chinese sovereignty in 1997 are still poorly understood and analyzed. The paper attempts to update and fill the gap in the literature with the investigation of the transformation of the cross-boundary interaction between the PRD and Hong Kong in the post-1997 period. Particular attentions are paid to the paradigm shift and evolving patterns of the PRD-Hong Kong cross-boundary region under the unique framework of “one country, two systems”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-86
Number of pages26
JournalHabitat International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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