Learn more about China’s geography and history!

February 6th, 2018 by Hubert Fromlet, Kalmar

During many years as a chief and academic economist, I visited quite a number of emerging countries in all continents. Particularly China drew my attention many times. One of my conclusions from all these trips to China, for example, has to do with insufficient Western knowledge about this giant country. But also the understanding of China and of many other emerging markets – and, of course, also of advanced countries – is very important when we meet people from these countries.

Necessary knowledge and understanding include history, traditions, culture, popular sports, geography and many other issues. It is always good to know what people from other countries are proud of and what may be sensitive national issues for them. Talking about undesirable sensitive issues can even shatter business negotiations. We are talking about applied business psychology.

Turning to China again, I still get particularly confused about the lean knowledge that foreigners tend to have about Chinese geography (apart from business people with commercial reasons to get around). My experience is clearly that the Chinese like to tell their foreign guests during a dinner or a coffee break where they come from – or to be asked about it. One certainly can get bonus points when knowing the location of this specific province and the name of a major city there. Furthermore, if you also can mention the names of China’s currently best table tennis players like Fan Zhengdong, Ma Long or Chen Meng, you can quite easily gain further sympathy points.

I got the idea for this article with its “knowledge angle” when I recently saw a message in the Chinese press that another two cities had joined China’s
“1 trillion yuan GDP City Club” (not considering in this context statistical shortcomings). Now there are 14 cities that have exceeded this magical amount of production; altogether they stand for as much as 30 percent of China’s GDP.

If you need assistance: 10 of these 14 places can be found in Eastern China, 2 of them in Central China and two in the West. Now you can try and find out (or know) where these 14 expanding cities are located (east, central or west) – and then you can try to add the name of the province. Enjoy!

China’s 1 trillion yuan GDP City Club, 2017  (ranked):

¤  Shanghai
¤  Beijing
¤  Shenzhen
¤  Guangzhou
¤  Chongqing
¤  Tianjin
¤  Suzhou
¤  Chengdu
¤  Wuhan
¤  Hangzhou
¤  Nanjing
¤  Qingdao
¤  Wuxi
¤  Changsha

Hubert Fromlet
Affiliate Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University
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