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World Cities and National Urban System in China



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World Cities and National Urban System in China Xiulian Ma Sociology Department University of Utah Xiulian ma soc utah edu In world city research one central issue is about the relation between world cities and nation states The dominant theme in this area is deterritorialization one expression of which is the disconnection of world cities from their national urban system From world city perspective the conflict between the world city and territorial state in essence is due to contradictory relations between production in the era of global management and the political determination of territorial interests Friedmann 1986 69 The spatial reconstructing of global capitalism has generated a new spatial division of labor from which a world urban system is emerging This world urban system implies deterritorialization that is the state increasingly loses control over various flows happening within its territory One form of this deterritorialization is that world cities which are commanding nodes of various flows will be gradually drawn away and disconnected from their national urban system into the world urban system As Sassen highlights in her Cities in a World Economy 2000 although world cites are still deeply embedded in the economies of their region their roles as strategic sites in the global economy become increasingly important and they are increasingly disconnected from their national urban system T hese cities do not simply compete with each other for the same business There is an economic system that rests on distinct types of locations and specializations each city represents Furthermore it seems likely that the strengthening of transnational ties between the leading financial and business centers is accompanied by a weakening of the linkages between each of these cities and its hinterland and national urban system Sassen 2000 55 This view obviously contradicts the traditional one that cities are nested within their national urban system the function of which



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