SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2015, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (1): 19-29.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2015.01.19

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Establishment and Model Selection of Free Trade Zones in China Based on Graduated Sovereignty and Policy Geographical Differentiation

Guang-wen MENG()   

  1. School of Urban and Environmental Science/Institute of Free Economics Zone, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin, 300387, China
  • Received:2014-06-15 Revised:2014-11-19 Online:2015-01-15 Published:2015-01-15


The Special Zone is the economic, political and military zone with special objectives inside or outside a country, or cross border area by sharing economic incentives and administrative privileges. As the basis for political and military zones, Chinese economic special zones, specially Chinese trade-based free economic zone, such as bonded zone, bonded logistic zone and bonded port zone, not only responds to changes in the global economic and trade patterns, deepen the reform and opening up, and promote the economic restructuring, but also faces the theoretical predicament of the further development and transformation. Moreover, few studies focus on the model selection and theoretical basis on the establishment of free trade zones in China. Therefore, based on graduated sovereignty theory and policy geographical differentiation, this paper analyzes the current situation of graduated sovereignty and policy spatial division of China, and formulates the theoretical foundation, the types and spatial model of China’s establishing free trade zone with the development model and path of free trade zone and free port city in Tianjin. The study suggests that China has already been implementing the hierarchical management policy based on graduated sovereignty theory, and in fact, there are various types of graduated sovereignty. Therefore, the establishment of free trade zone with enclave customs territory is just new development and exploration of China's grating sovereignty in the economic field both theoretically and practically. The model of Chinese trade-based free economic zone shall include bonded warehouse zones, cross-border trade zone, free trade zones, free trade port zone, free ports, and free city. For promoting the formation and development of world city, free trade zones should be established step by step by focusing on "Zhujiang River Delta", "Changjiang River Delta" and "Bohai Bay Rim" and gradually extended to border crossing and nodes on the mainland area. Tianjin Dongjiang Free Trade Zone should be a competitive location choice in Bohai Bay Rim. Thus, this study will not only enrich the theories, and but also will be benefit for model selection of the establishment of free trade zones in China.

Key words: free economic zone, free trader zone, graduated sovereignty theory, policy geographical differentiation, Tianjin Dongjiang free trade port, Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone

CLC Number: 

  • K901