Economic Development and Environmental Protection: the planning of China’s National Strategic Petroleum Reserves in port cities

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Abstract

Since 2004, the Chinese government has been planning and building enormous petroleum reserves in China’s highly industrialized port cities, located along an environmentally fragile coastline. The construction of these national oil reserves should have complied with the principle of sustainability proposed by the Chinese Communist Party in the 2003 national strategy outlined in the Scientific Outlook on Development. The Office of the Petroleum Reserve distributed the petroleum reserves to port cities based on national economic criteria, but it left the responsibility for environmental protection to the local entities. This paper examines whether and how the top-down national strategy and the bottom-up local plans were aligned to achieve the dual national goals of economic and environmental sustainability. It first provides a brief overview of the administrative levels in the Chinese planning and building processes. It then considers the first national spatial strategy, developed by the Office of the Petroleum Reserve in 2004, focusing on the decision-making process and its impact on spatial and environmental policy. Subsequently, the paper analyses plans made by local authorities from 2007 to 2015 to determine the extent to which these plans aligned with the national strategy. It finds that the port cities mostly activated the presence of the reserves to increase economic development rather than focus on sustainable practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalPORTUSplus
Volume8
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Special Issue “Governance in Port City Regions”

Keywords

  • Regional planning
  • Port city
  • Petroleum reserve
  • Spatial strategy

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