China’s Urban Boom — (Part 7) Building A Century in Fifteen Years

CITIES & THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

Part 7, two cities: Harbin & Hong Kong

Harbin, China — With a population of over 10 million, Harbin is situated in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River. It serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications hub in the Northeast. Given its extreme northern location, Harbin’s business and cultural attributes combine both Russian and Chinese influences. The city is China’s base for grain production and other agricultural businesses and boasts industries in textile, medicine, foodstuff, automobile, metallurgy, electronics, building materials, and chemicals. Harbin Power Equipment Group Company and Northeast Light Alloy Processing Factory are two key enterprises. Harbin is also known as the capital of “power manufacturing”; hydro and thermal power equipment manufactured here makes up one-third of the total installed capacity in China. Harbin is very much an “industrial” city.

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Hong Kong, China — With a population over 7 million, Hong Kong is situated on China’s south coast, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, and renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong has a major service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade. Lack of expansion land led to denser construction, establishing Hong Kong as a center for modern architecture and the world’s most vertical city.

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