This video program features two case studies: Guangdong: Globalization in the Pearl River Delta and Taiwan: High-Tech Tiger.
The first case study, Guangdong: Globalization in the Pearl River Delta, discusses how Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the province of Guangdong have been integrated into the global production system of numerous multinational corporations since Guangdong's first SEZ was established in 1984. Most of the factories in the SEZ are privately owned, a rare occurrence in communist China. The factories receive financial backing from foreign investors, many from Taiwan, and work on a contract basis with foreign trade partners. As communications technology has improved, global production has become more feasible, and the various functions of a company can be completed at numerous locations. The case study examines in particular Nike, the American athletic shoe company, which has developed a manufacturing and shipping outpost in Guangdong as part of its global production system.
The second case study, Taiwan: High-Tech Tiger, explores the Republic of China, one of Asia's economic tigers. Taiwan has experienced rapid economic growth and urbanization in the past twenty-five years. One way in which the government has planned for Taiwan's economic future is through the development of new research and development parks, such as the Hsinchu Science Based Industrial Park. In recent years, a thriving high-tech industry has lead Taiwanese entrepreneurs to expand further into Mainland China, seeking not only cheap labor to assemble parts, but educated engineers who can help in product development. This is particularly important in light of the strained relations between Taiwan and China over whether or not Taiwan should become independent of its estranged motherland. One geographer sees Taiwan playing a role as an "interface region" between Western technology and Chinese business.
Both of these case studies have been updated with new map sequences and new interviews with Dr. Clif Pannell and Dr. Jinn-Yuh Hsu. The Taiwan case has a new focus on the development of Taiwan's high-tech industry and Taiwan's relationship with China.
Find additional resources, including primary source materials, interactives, and downloadable print materials, at: http://www.learner.org/series/powerofplace/page10.html