Be the first to like this
‘Central China’ does not describe an established region so much as a cluster of provinces that defy placement in China’s more integrated economic areas. Nevertheless, central China—comprising the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Henan, and Anhui—has a population of approximately 400m, greater than the population of all but two countries in the world. Though endowed with natural resources and transport advantages, central China lacks the economic development of the coastal provinces as well as the links to foreign markets enjoyed by provinces in the northeast, northwest, and southwest of the country.
In 2004, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced the “Rise of Central China”, an initiative calling for increased development in the region. The major role of the Yangtze River (see section 7.10) in daily life attests to the many advantages central China offers as a transport hub, particularly in marquee cities such as Wuhan. In addition, coal production in north-central China—centred round Shanxi Province—has an enormously significant impact on China’s energy supply.