redistricting – guangming and pingshan xinqu

i try to keep apace of the changes, but alas, shenzhen redistricts and i find out about it after the fact. guangming new district was carved out of baoan and pingshan was carved out of longgang. thus shenzhen now has 8 districts: within the gate (guannei or the old second line, erxian) nanshan, futian, luohu, and yantian; outside the gate (guanwai) baoan, guangming, longgang and pingshan. see map.

this redistricting seems to be a return of the repressed because during the mao years guangming and pingshan were communes. of course, all shenzhen’s districts were once upon a time communes and so the city’s administrative history might be thought of as tweaking and reshuffling extant divisions upon revisions of a traditional world order. more to the point is that this redistricting speaks

  1. to shenzhen’s loosely planned uneven development (some places in shenzhen really are noticeably poorer than others, which is interpreted as intended-by-the-governmenet-to-be poorer than others, thus requiring explicit recognition through the establishment of a new administrative district. first case – yantian) and
  2. to the city’s growth (it really is too big for simple administrative bureaucracy).

a simple point of nomenclature: i don’t understand why guangming and pingshan are “new districts (xinqu)”, rather than districts (qu). it may have something to do with actual rights and responsibilities of the new district government as being distinct from other district governments (in terms of taxation and what not), but i don’t know. or, thinking from the analagy of new villages (xincun versus cun), i hypothesize that new districts are a variation of a past government, with status change and thus the right to transform whole chunks of the political-economy. thus for example, guangming was a zhen within baoan, just as pingshan was a longgang zhen, which were subseequently elevated to neighborhood (jiedao) as part of the 2004 rural urbanization movement. but again and alas, i’m not for sure.

cutting to the chase, i ask: does anyone know the reason for why xinqu rather than a plain and simple qu? please tell.

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