Published on Author Haley Rising

67b90900-adc9-471e-944b-a73984a5ee34Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning Province, contains ten districts, one city and two counties. With an urban population of 5.74 million, Shenyang has the largest urban population in Northeast China, ranking within the top ten largest urban cities in China. Shenyang serves as a cultural hub, as it is home to 38 Chinese ethnic groups, as well as foreigners.

Foreigners are particularly drawn to Shenyang because it functions as a center for heavy industry. Trade partners include Japan, Russia, Korea, and top partner, Germany. Shenyang’s highly developed transportation infrastructure, in particular its extensive road and expressway network, provides the basis for industrial markets. More recently, Shenyang has become an attraction for the auto industry, housing BMW Group’s first competence center outside of Europe (China Daily). This joint venture between BMW and Brilliance will be important for future economic development in SheUnknownnyang; “Manufacturing [BMW’s] most advanced engines in China with its latest core technologies shows BMW’s confidence in the Chinese market and its commitment to its localization strategy”(China Daily). In addition, the joint venture will attract non-auto German firms, like electronics, to Shenyang (ejinsight). Both will generate job creation, which is important in sustaining the growing urban population.

While Shenyang experienced one of the largest absolute increases in urban planning and construction in China between 2000-2010, the city remains conscious about environmental stability. During this growth, Shenyang reduced their number of heating enterprises by 1,000 plants and in 2012 Chicago had CO2 emissions 200% higher than Shenyang (Urban China 2014 WB Book). Cities, like Wuxi and Shanghai, should emulate Shenyang’s efforts to balance urbanization and growth with environmental sustainability.

Sources: National Bureau of Statistics China


6 Responses to Shenyang

  1. Parts of your post though read as though based on web sites put together by local boosters, though in fact the view of the city is spectacular.

    But Shengyang is a northern city that was at the center of heavy industry, and was furthermore heated by coal. At least at one time it was one of the most polluted cities in China, I’ve had accounts from businessmen who were briefly posted there. Those stories were from 15 years ago, so maybe efforts to clean up pollution have had an impact.

    If I recall correctly, one former mayor was executed for corruption. Given the general level of corruption, being so crooked as to be singled out meant he was a standout in shakedown. Or to continue an attempt at punning, local officials cleaned out the place even if they didn’t clean up the place. Ah, the wonder of American idioms!

  2. The story of Shenyang and its history of corruption brings up the interesting concept of corruption as an economic institution. In my institutions of economics class, we talked about a couple of studies of corruption, and how it’s not an inherently bad thing. In some countries, corruption (in the form of paying someone off to expedite a transaction) is actually a good thing. It gets things done, and people don’t think twice about it. I wonder to what extent corruption might encourage efficiency in China, and whether its people view it as a a purely acceptable or negative phenomenon.

  3. It is likely easier to create a green city than to turn a city green. Even if the true situation in Shenyang is not as the local boosters portray it, the city serves as a great example of the ideal city planning. That is, other cities should attempt to model after a green approach to construction. It only makes sense to benefit the environment during this phase – especially since there is an increasing global push to becoming environmentally aware. This consciousness may also encourage green companies to expand into the area, likely furthering economic development. On another note, I imagine that given the many smog-ridden parts of urban China, a low-pollution city may appeal to the masses.

  4. I agree with Matt when saying that Shenyang is an example of ideal city planning and it will be interesting to see how they implement environmental change. As a hub of trade and travel, the process will take a while but with all the car factories, it will make a large impact, a kind of “if they can do it, why not us?”

  5. As a Chinese resident, I’ve never considered Shenyang as a top tier city in China. First off, Shenyang is not even a first lined (一线) city. Also, unlike Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (北上广),Shenyang also doesn’t have any special trading laws that are enforced, and has never been thought as a modern commercial center. But as Matt said, Shenyang does a good job developing itself in a environmental approach.

  6. In relation to “Shenyang as a center for heavy industry,” the growth rate of fixed asset investments has dropped; fixed asset investments were 15.7% in 2014, an 8.8% decrease compared to 2010. However, the machine tool industry generated 819 billion yuan in 2014, increasing 2% each year. Despite this continuous increase in revenue, the numerical control rate of machine tools in China is low. As a result, these machines comprise of “deficiencies in the technical level and operating speed of core components, accuracy preservation as well as the reliability of machine tool despite its rising sales revenue.”