Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Special Economic Zones
(1,450 words)

In 1979 the Chinese government decided to initiate economic reforms in selected areas of the two provinces Fujian and Guangdong , in other words, to establish "capitalist" enclaves there. In 1980 the government designated four Special Economic Zones (SEZ): Xiamen (Fujian province), Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou (Guangdong province). In 1988 the entire island of Hainan was also made a SEZ (see plate VI). The rationale for the establishment of the SEZs was to open selected areas for foreign investment, to promote export-oriented industrialization in these zones, to introduc…

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Taubmann, Wolfgang, “Special Economic Zones”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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