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1979: Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou Special Economic Zones
Latest Updated at 2008-November-20 11:01:57

Special Report: Deng Xiaoping & SEZs in Guangdong

The cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou, together with Xiamen in Fujian province, received the green light in 1979 to establish what were later called the special economic zones that allowed them to practice special policies and employ flexible measures in foreign economic and trade issues. The zones later became an important symbol of China's reform and opening-up.

Shenzhen is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China's Guangdong province, situated just north of Hong Kong. Owing to China's economic liberalization from the policies of reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, the area became China's first - and ultimately most successful - Special Economic Zone.

Designated as a special economic zone in 1979, Zhuhai has benefited greatly from its proximity to Macao. It has a variety of industries, including textiles, electronics, fishing and tourism. A major airport opened there in 1995, the same year that saw the opening of the Zhuhai Port, a deepwater harbor built on Gaolan Island. The name sometimes appears as Chu-hai.

Shantou, a city significant in 19th-century Chinese history as one of the treaty ports established for Western trade and contact, was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China established in the 1980s, but failed to blossom like other cities such as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai. However, it remains East Guangdong's economic centre, and is home to one of Guangdong's most prestigious colleges, Shantou University.


Shenzhen's Shekou industry zone in 1981.


Shenzhen in 2008.

 Shantou (file photo)

the Qinghua Hi-tech Park in Zhuhai City(file photo)

Editor: Yan

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