For those following the shifts in Guangdong structure, you noticed that yesterday Shekou, along with Qianhai, Nansha, and a bit of Zhuhai was designated a self-governing trade zone (自贸区). Inquiring minds want to know: what does that mean? Speculation abounds and adjustments are coming, but there seem to be two key points.
First, the self-governing trade zone is the same administrative status as Shenzhen Municipality. This means that Shekou has, for a second time emerged as equal to and independent of direct municipal governance. What that will look like and how it will one to with Qianhai is all an open question. For the moment, however, old Shekou people are very, very happy.
Second, with this move, Guangdong Province has secured control over the all the container ports along the both banks of the Pearl River Delta. A major loss for Shenzhen, which will now rely on its east coast ports in Yantian. The other obvious consequence is that Hong Kong has been excluded from this restructuring and I have heard folks analyzing the move to mean that Xi Jinping is deliberately pushing the SAR out of future developments. But again that remains to be seen. But did I mention? Happy in Shekou we be.
Today, I went to the Shenzhen New Media Art Festival opening in the valiu factory which continues to give good show. The key celebratory moment in the opening speach? The announcement that Shekou was not only rising, but had been elevated to a higher status.
Impressions of show, below.