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Reviews 281 Y. M. Yeung and David K. Y. Chu, editors. Guangdong: Survey ofa Province UndergoingRapid Change. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1994. xvi, 504 pp. In 1989 the Chinese University Press launched die first volume of The Other Hong Kong Report. This now annual series was designed to provide a counterbalance to the Hong Kong Government's annual report by bringing up issues and pointing out shortcomings overlooked in the official version ofthe events ofthe preceding year. With Guangdong: Survey ofa Province UndergoingRapid Change, die Chinese University Press has extended this tradition ofproviding an alternate perspective by focusing on developments in its enormous next-door neighbor. In a sense this book is an English language companion to the two Chinese-language annual reports , Guangdong nianjian (Guangdong yearbook) and Guangdong tongji nianjian (Guangdong statistical yearbook), published by the Guangdong People's Press, and, by drawing on these works, makes much of their data accessible to diose who cannot read Chinese. Yet the time frame ofthe book is not a single year; since this is the first survey of the province that the Chinese University Press has published , die period under review encompasses the fifteen years following Deng Xiaoping's 1978 decision to open the province. Interest in Guangdong is, of course, especially keen in Hong Kong as its residents are the primary foreign investors in the Chinese province and dieir two economies are inextricably linked. For these reasons the production of this book was undertaken as a project of the Urban and Regional Development in Pacific Asia Research Programme of the Hong Kong Institute ofAsia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Nearly all ofthe authors are current or former faculty of the major educational institutions in Hong Kong: the Chinese University ofHong Kong, the University ofHong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic, and Hong Kong Baptist College. The physical presence of so many authors in one geographic location no doubt facilitated die editors' production tasks, though they confess that the absence of chapters on customs and culture and on GuangdongHong Kong relations is due to die failure oftwo contributors to complete their work Following a format similar to the "other" reports, Guangdong is divided into twenty chapters covering (in descending order ofemphasis) a broad range ofeconomic , welfare, and political topics. Under die first category are chapters on the economy; agriculture and forestry; energy resources; industry and trade; service© 1995 by University industries; money, banking, and finance; state sector entrepreneurs; transport and ofHawai ?Presscommunication; urban development; population mobility; the environment; and the special economic zones (SEZs). Inexplicably diere is no chapter on employment as such. Welfare issues (touched on in some of the chapters above) are cov- 282 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 ered more fully in chapters on education, health, welfare, and housing. Only two chapters deal explicidy with political issues, one detailing die changing relationship between the province and the central government and one dealing with changes in the legal system, particularly those involving economic matters. There is also a brief chapter on the history of Guangdong. Discussion ofpolitical topics that are tabooed by die Chinese government, such as rural unrest, democratization, independent labor organizing, and human rights, is conspicuous by its absence. The absence of such discussion should not be understood to mean that Guangdongis nothing more than a paean to progress. On the contrary, while some chapters do little more than state the economic facts (growth, growth, and more growth), others emphasize the problems associated with this growth and offer recommendations for their alleviation or resolution. Especially noteworthy in this regard are the chapters on "Agriculture and Forestry" by Chau, "Changing Health Needs and Emerging Health Problems" by Wong, Ho, and Yu, and "The Environment " by Neller and Lam. Nor do diese Hong Kong-based audiors shirk their duty to point out tìiat die Hong Kong owners ofthe myriads offactories that have been established in die Pearl River Delta have been major contributors to these problems , especially to pollution and lax occupational safety standards. As must be expected in a book ofthis scope, some chapters are more informative than others. Some authors seem to accept official statistics without any qualms...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 281-283
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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