China’s New Normal and Its Emerging Coastal-Inland Spatial-Cum-Logistical Fix: Spatial Planning as a Tool of State Capitalist Intervention

Alexander Linyu Qian Chen, Federico Jensen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


This paper joins the debate on state capitalism by examining the role of the Chinese state in processes of market creation, correction, and direction through the transformation of logistical geographies and capitalist circulation. We examine how China’s transition towards a New Normal heralds the sectoral rebalancing of its economy, anticipating the parallel processes of (a) deindustrialization in the coastal region, and (b) a relocation of manufacturing to the inland region. The paper builds upon the premise that every historical transition from one mode of development to another engenders new spaces of accumulation and spatial divisions of labor. We argue that China’s mode of development has been premised on a co-constitutive coastal-inland relationship, coalescing around logistical spaces of capital circulation and accumulation. This has resulted in the emergence of new logistical geographies in the form of a new logistical fix between coastal and inland China and between China and Southeast Asia. To this end, we provide a historical-comparative study of two phases of development, Open Door Policy (1978-2012) and New Normal (2012-present), drawing upon policy documents combined with data on coastal-inland logistical flows and infrastructural investments to illustrate the contested processes through which these logistical fixes have been implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventSASE 33rd Annual Conference: After Covid? Critical Conjunctures and Contingent Pathways of Contemporary Capitalism - Virtual, Duisburg, Germany
Duration: 2 Jul 20215 Jul 2021
Conference number: 33


ConferenceSASE 33rd Annual Conference
Internet address


  • Regional development
  • State capitalism
  • Logistical fixes
  • Spatial fixes
  • Coastal-inland relations

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