Pearl River Delta

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Pearl River Delta
Delta do Rio das Pérolas
Metropolitan region
Map of Pearl River Delta in Green
Map of Pearl River Delta in Green
Provincial Guangdong
Hong Kong
Major Cities Guangzhou
Hong Kong
 • Governor of Guangdong Zhu Xiaodan
 • Chief Executive of Hong Kong CY Leung
 • Chief Executive of Macau Fernando Chui
 • Metro 39,380 km2 (15,200 sq mi)
 • Metro 63,724,157~120,000,000
 •   Standard Chinese, Cantonese, English, Portuguese, Macanese Patois
Time zone CST, HKT, MST (UTC+8)
Pearl River Delta
Chinese name
Chinese 珠江三角洲
Cantonese Jyutping Zyu1gong1 Saam1gok3zau1
Cantonese Yale Jyūgōng Sāamgokjāu
Hanyu Pinyin Zhūjiāng Sānjiǎozhōu
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese 珠三角
Cantonese Jyutping Zyu1saam1gok3
Cantonese Yale Jyūsāamgok
Hanyu Pinyin Zhūsānjiǎo
Second alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 粤江平原
Traditional Chinese 粵江平原
Hanyu Pinyin Yuèjiāng Píngyuán
Portuguese name
Portuguese Delta do Rio das Pérolas

The Pearl River Delta (PRD), Zhujiang Delta or Zhusanjiao in Guangdong province, China is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea. It is one of the most densely urbanised regions in the world and one of the main hubs of China's economic growth. This region is often considered an emerging megacity. The PRD is a megalopolis, with future development into a single mega metropolitan area, yet itself is at the southern end of a larger megalopolis running along the southern coast of China, which include large metropolises like Chaoshan, Zhangzhou-Xiamen, Quanzhou-Putian, and Fuzhou. The nine largest cities of PRD had a combined population of 57.15 million at the end of 2013, however their annual population growth rate is modest at 0.45%, comprising 53.69% of the provincial population.[1] This sharply contrasts with the previous decade's migrant population boom, and reflects the rising cost of migrant labor and changes to the value chain. According to the World Bank Group, the PRD has become the largest urban area in the world in both size and population.[2]

Historical background

Since economic liberalisation was adopted by the Chinese government in the late 1970s, the delta has become one of the leading economic regions and a major manufacturing center of China and the world. The Chinese government hopes that the manufacturing in Guangdong, combined with the financial and service economy and traditional capitalistic influence in Hong Kong, will create an economic gateway attracting foreign capital throughout mainland China.


River delta

The river delta, also known as the Golden Delta of Guangdong,[3] is formed by three major rivers, the Xi Jiang (West River), Bei Jiang (North River), and Dong Jiang (East River). The flat lands of the delta are criss-crossed by a network of tributaries and distributaries of the Pearl River. The Pearl River Delta is actually two alluvial deltas, separated by the core branch of the Pearl River. The Bei Jiang and Xi Jiang converge to flow into the South China Sea and Pearl River in the west, while the Dong Jiang only flows into the Pearl River proper in the east.

The Xi Jiang begins exhibiting delta-like characteristics as far west as Zhaoqing, although this city is not usually considered a part of the PRD region. After passing through the Lingyang Gorge and converging with the Bei Jiang, the Xi Jiang opens up and flows as far east as Nasha Qu and as far west as Xinhui. Major distributaries of the Xi include Donghui Shuidao, Jiya Shuidao, Hutiaomen Shuidao, Yinzhou Hu, and the main branch of the Xi Jiang. Jiangmen and Zhongshan are the major cities found in the western section of the delta.[citation needed]

The Bei Jiang enters the delta plains at Qingyuan but doesn't begin to split until near Sanshui. From here the two main distributaries are Tanzhou Shuidao and Shunde Shuidao which form multiple mouths along the west side of the Pearl River's estuary. Two other distributaries, Lubao Yong and Xinan Yong, split from the Bei further north and converge with the Liuxi He to form the main branch of the Pearl River just north of Guangzhou. The other major city in the north section of the delta is Foshan.[citation needed]

The Dong Jiang flows through Huizhou into the delta. It begins diverging northeast of Dongguan into many distributaries, including the Dongguan Shuidao. Distributuares enter the Pearl River as far north as Luogang and as far south as Hu Men (Tiger Gate).

Location and demographics

As well as the delta itself, the term Pearl River Delta refers to the dense network of cities that covers nine prefectures of the province of Guangdong, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Foshan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, and the SARs of Hong Kong and Macau. The 2010/2011 State of the World Cities report, published by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, estimates the population of the delta region at 120 million people; it is rapidly urbanising.[4]

The eastern side of the PRD (Shenzhen, Dongguan), dominated by foreign capital, is the most developed economically. The western areas (Foshan, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Jiangmen), dominated by local private capital, are open for development. New transport links between Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai in the PRD are expected to open up new areas for development, further integrate the cities, and facilitate trade within the region. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, currently under construction, and the proposed Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge, currently in the planning phase, will be amongst the longest bridges in the world with a total length of approximately 50 km each.

An 1888 map of the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, showing the locations of Macau and Hong Kong

Until c. 1985, the PRD had been mainly dominated by farms and small rural villages, but after the economy was reformed and opened, a flood of investment turned it into the land's economic powerhouse. The PRD's startling growth was fueled by foreign investment coming largely from Hong Kong manufacturers that moved their operations into the PRD. In 2003, Hong Kong companies employed 11 million workers in their PRD operations. Lately there have been extreme labour shortages in the region due to runaway economic growth which caused wages to rise by about 20 to 30 percent in the past two years.[5]


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The Pearl River Delta has been one of most economically dynamic regions of the People's Republic of China since the launch of China’s reform programme in 1979. With annual gross domestic product growth of 13.45 percent over three decades since 1978, it is 3.5 percentage points higher than the national average. Since 1978, almost 30% of all foreign investment in China was in the PRD.[6] By 2007 its GDP rose to US$448 billion which makes its economy about the size of Taiwan's.[7] The abundance of employment opportunities created a pool of wealthy, middle-income, professional consumers with an annual per capita income that puts them among China's wealthiest.[8] Since the onset of China’s reform program, the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone has been the fastest growing portion of the fastest growing province in the fastest growing large economy in the world.[9]

Dongguan, Zhongshan, Nanhai, and Shunde (the later two are now districts of Foshan) the four cities known as the Four Guangdong Dragons for its high growth rates and rapid development from late the 1980s to the 2000s.

According to the 2000 national Census, the Zone had a population of 40.8 million people. Per capita income has been growing substantially in recent years, as have consumer expenditures.

Although the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone encompasses only 0.4 percent of the land area and only 3.2 percent of the 2000 Census population of mainland China, it accounted for 8.7 percent of GDP, 35.8 percent of total trade, and 29.2 percent of utilised foreign capital in 2001. These figures show the remarkable level of economic development that the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone has achieved and the international orientation of the region’s economy. This orientation has attracted numerous investors from all over the world who use the Greater Pearl River Delta region as a platform for serving global and Chinese markets.

As of 2008, the Central Government has introduced new labor laws, environmental and other regulations to reduce pollution, industrial disputes, produce safer working conditions and protect the environment. The costs of producing low margin and commodity goods have increased. This is on top of the rising cost for energy, food, transport and the appreciation of the Renminbi against the falling US Dollar. Some manufacturers will need to cut costs by moving up the value chain or moving to more undeveloped regions.[10]

The industrial cities in the Pearl River Delta has been called the "Factory of the World" or the "World's Factory" due the presence of industrial parks populated with factories from foreign investments.[11][12]

Significance of manufacturing

Several streets in Guangzhou specialize in selling electronic components to the manufacturers of electric and electronic goods

The Pearl River Delta has become the world's workshop and is a major manufacturing base for products such as electronic products (such as watches and clocks), toys, garments and textiles, plastic products, and a range of other goods. Much of this output is invested by foreign entities and is geared for the export market. The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone accounts for approximately one third of China's trade value.

Private-owned enterprises have developed quickly in the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone and are playing an ever-growing role in the region's economy, particularly after year 2000 when the development environment for private-owned enterprises has been greatly relaxed.

Nearly five percent of the world's goods were produced in the Greater Pearl River Delta in 2001, with a total export value of US$289 billion. Over 70,000 Hong Kong companies have factory plants there.[10]


Public transport

Urban rail transport

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PRD is served by four different metro systems throughout the metropolitan area consist of Guangzhou Metro, Shenzhen Metro, MTR, and FMetro. Both Guangzhou and Hong Kong are also served by tram systems: Guangzhou Trams, Hong Kong Tramways, MTR Light Rail, and Peak Tram.

Currently, five additional metro and tram systems are under construction: Dongguan Rail Transit, Macau Light Rail Transit, Shenzhen Trams, Zhuhai Trams, and Foshan Trams. Also three additional system is under planning stage: Zhongshan Metro, Huizhou Metro, and Zhuhai Metro.

Buses, taxis and motorcycles

All cities are served by buses and taxis. While some city may still offer motorcycle services.

Air transport

PRD is metropolitan area covered by 7 civilian airports and four of the airports are international.

Railway and intercity-rail transport

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The entire PRD is fully covered by railway, high-speed rail, or intercity-rail services.

River transport

There are daily high-speed catamaran services throughout the PRD region.


City Romanization Stats Information & Subdivisions City Map Image
Pinyin: Guǎngzhōu
Canton: Guong2zeo1
Yale: Gwóngjāu
Jyutping: Gwong2zau1
Population: 12,700,800
Area: 7,434 km2
Density: 1,708.47/km2
Also known to many English speakers as Canton, Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province. It is a port on the Pearl River, navigable to the South China Sea, and is cultural and political center of the Pearl River Delta.

Districts: Yuexiu, Liwan, Haizhu, Tianhe, Baiyun, Huangpu, Panyu, Huadu, Nansha, Zengcheng, Conghua
New Area: Nansha

Administrative Division Guangzhou 2.png Guangzhou montage.png
Pinyin: Shēnzhèn
Canton: Sem1zen3
Yale: Sāmjan
Jyutping: Sam1zan3
Population: 10,357,938
Area: 1,991 km2
Density: 5,202.37/km2
Shenzhen once was a small fishing village, singled out by Deng Xiaoping to become the first Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in China. Since the late 1970s it has been one of the fastest growing cities in the world due to its proximity to Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997. It is also the busiest port in China after Shanghai.

Districts: Futian, Luohu, Nanshan, Yantian, Bao'an, Longgang
New Districts: Guangming, Pingshan, Longhua, Dapeng

Administrative Divisions of Shenzhen City.svg Shenzhen city montage.png
Hong Kong
Pinyin: Xiānggǎng
Canton: Hêng1gong2
Yale: Hēunggóng
Jyutping: Hoeng1gong2
Population: 7,061,200
Area: 1,104 km2
Density: 6396.01/km2
Hong Kong Island was first occupied by British forces in 1841, and then formally ceded from China under the Treaty of Nanjing at the end of the war. Hong Kong remained a crown colony of the United Kingdom until 1997 when it was returned to China. Hong Kong is known as one of the world's leading financial capitals also a major business and cultural hub.

Districts: Central and Western, Eastern, Southern, Wan Chai, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, Yau Tsim Mong, Islands, Kwai Tsing, North, Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long

Map of Hong Kong 18 Districts.svg TE-Collage Hong Kong.png
Pinyin: Àomén
Canton: Ou3mun4
Yale: Oumùhn
Jyutping: Ou3mun4
Population: 544,600
Area: 30 km2
Density: 18,153.33/km2
Macau was first Portuguese settlement in China on 1557. Macau remained a colony of Portugal until 1999 when it was returned to China. Macau has developed into a notable tourist industry that boasts a wide range of hotels, resorts, stadiums, restaurants and casinos. This makes it one of the richest cities in the world.

Freguesia: Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Santo António, São Lázaro, , São Lourenço, Nossa Senhora do Carmo, São Francisco Xavier
Zone: Cotai

MapOfMacauMunicipalities.svg Macau montage.png
Pinyin: Dōngguǎn
Canton: Dung1gun2
Yale: Dūnggún
Jyutping: Dung1gun2
Population: 8,220,237
Area: 2,465 km2
Density: 3,334.78/km2
Dongguan borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the north, Huizhou to the northeast, Shenzhen to the south, and the Pearl River to the west. It is also home to the world's largest shopping mall, South China Mall.

Subdistricts: Dongcheng, Guancheng, Nancheng, Wanjiang
Towns: Chang'an, Changping, Chashan, Dalang, Dalingshan, Daojiao, Dongkeng, Fenggang, Gaobu, Hengli, Hongmei, Houjie, Huangjiang, Humen, Liaobu, Machong, Qiaotou, Qingxi, Qishi, Shatian, Shijie, Shilong, Shipai, Tangxia, Wangniudun, Xiegang, Zhangmutou, Zhongtang

Administrative Division Dongguan.png Dongguan montage.jpg
Pinyin: Fóshān
Canton: Fed1san1
Yale: Fātsāan
Jyutping: Fat1saan1
Population: 7,194,311
Area: 3,848 km2
Density: 1,869.62/km2
Foshan is an old town dated back many centuries. It was famous for its porcelain industry. It is now the third largest city in Guangdong'. The city is relatively affluent when compared to other Chinese cities, and it is home to many large private enterprises. Foshan recently has seen a transformation brought by China's booming economy. City administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment especially in Nanhai District which has closes ties with Guangzhou to form a Guangzhou-Foshan metro in the near future.

Districts: Chancheng, Nanhai, Shunde, Sanshui, Gaoming

Administrative Division Foshan.png Foshan montage.jpg
Pinyin: Zhūhǎi
Canton: Ju6oi2
Yale: Jyūhói
Jyutping: Zyu1hoi2
Population: 1,560,229
Area: 1,724 km2
Density: 905.00/km2
Zhuhai plays a similar role to Shenzhen and became the first of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in China. Since the late 1970s it has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the Pearl River Delta due to its proximity to Macau.

Districts: Xiangzhou, Doumen, Jinwan
New Area: Hengqin

Administrative Division Zhuhai.png Zhuhai montage.jpg
Pinyin: Zhōngshān
Canton: Zung1san1
Yale: Jūngsāan
Jyutping: Zung1saan1
Population: 3,120,884
Area: 1,783 km2
Density: 1,750.35/km2
Zhongshan is a mid-size city named after Dr. Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) and considered by many to be the "Father of modern China". Zhongshan serves as a midway point between Guangzhou and Macau. Zhongshan is known in China for making lamps.

Subdistricts: Dongqu, Nanqu, Shiqiqu, Xiqu, Wuguishan Subdistrict, ZTHIDZ (Zhongshangang)
Towns: Banfu, Dachong, Dongfeng, Dongsheng, Fusha, Gangkou, Guzhen, Henglan,l Huangpu, Nanlang, Nantou, Minzong, Sanjiao, Sanxiang, Shaxi, Shenwan, Tanzhou, Xiaolan
New Area: Cuiheng

Administrative Division Zhongshan.png Zhongshan montage.jpg
Pinyin: Jiāngmén
Canton: Gong1mun4
Yale: Gōngmùhn
Jyutping: Gong1mun4
Population: 4,448,871
Area: 9,443 km2
Density: 471.12/km2
Jiangmen Port is the second largest river port in Guangdong province. The local government plans to develop a harbour industrial zone with heavy industries such as petrochemical and machinery industries. The port of Jiangmen was known as Kong-Moon when it was forced to open to western trade in 1902. One legacy of this period is a historic waterfront district lined with buildings in the treaty port style. The city has an ongoing renewal project which has restored many of these buildings.

Districts: Jianghai, Pengjiang, Xinhui
County-level Cities: Enping, Taishan, Kaiping, Heshan

Administrative Division Jiangmen.png Jiangmen montage.jpg
Pinyin: Hùizhōu
Canton: Wei6zeo1
Yale: Waihjāu
Jyutping: Wai6zau1
Population: 4,597,002
Area: 10,922 km2
Density: 420.89/km2
Huizhou is the most eastern city in the Pearl River Delta region. Huizhou is known for its West Lake scenery. Huizhou gained benefit from the Chinese economic reform of the late 1980s. The blossoming real estate market attracted capital investment from Hong Kong and Taiwan. In the provincial economic development strategy, Huizhou is regarded as a site for a world-class petrochemical industry, as well as a hub for developing information technology, and expanding exports and trade.

Districts: Huicheng, Huiyang
Counties: Boluo, Huidong, Longmen

Administrative Division Huizhou.png Westlakeinhuizhou.JPG
Pinyin: Zhàoqìng
Canton: Xiu6 hing3
Yale: Siuhhing
Jyutping: Siu6 hing3
Population: 3,918,085
Area: 14,891 km2
Density: 263.11/km2
Zhaoqing is the most western city in the Pearl River Delta region. It is well known for being a regional tourist hub, a medium-sized provincial "college town" as well as an up-and-coming manufacturing center. Residents from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other nearby cities, as well as people from Hong Kong and Macau, are known to visit the city on weekend getaways and excursions.

Districts: Duanzhou, Dinghu, Gaoyao
Counties: Guangning, Huaiji, Fengkai, Deqing
County-level City: Sihui

Administrative Division Zhaoqing.png Zhaoqing-7stars.JPG


Name City Type Population
Yuexiu Guangzhou District 1,157,277 33.8 34,239
Liwan Guangzhou District 898,204 59.1 15,198
Haizhu Guangzhou District 1,558,663 90.4 17,242
Tianhe Guangzhou District 1,432,431 96.3 14,870
Baiyun Guangzhou District 2,222,658 795.7 2,793
Huangpu Guangzhou District 457,930 484.1 1,717
Panyu Guangzhou District 1,764,869 786.1 2,245
Huadu Guangzhou District 945,053 970.0 974
Nansha Guangzhou District 259,899 527.6 493
Zengcheng Guangzhou District 1,036,731 1,616.4 641
Conghua Guangzhou District 593,415 1,974.5 301
Futian Shenzhen District 1,318,055 78.6 16,769
Luohu Shenzhen District 923,423 78.7 11,733
Nanshan Shenzhen District 1,087,936 186.5 5,833
Bao'an Shenzhen District 2,638,807 402.0 6,564
Guangming Shenzhen District 481,420 156.1 3,084
Longhua Shenzhen District 1,379,000 175.5 7,857
Longgang Shenzhen District 1,831,225 382 4,793
Pingshan Shenzhen District 309,211 167.0 1,851
Dapeng Shenzhen District 180,000 294.1 612
Yantian Shenzhen District 208,861 74.6 2,799
Central and Western Hong Kong District 251,519 12.4 20,102
Eastern Hong Kong District 588,094 18.5 31,664
Southern Hong Kong District 278,655 38.8 7,083
Wan Chai Hong Kong District 152,608 9.8 15,788
Sham Shui Po Hong Kong District 380,855 9.3 39,095
Kowloon City Hong Kong District 377,351 10.0 36,178
Kwun Tong Hong Kong District 622,152 11.2 52,123
Wong Tai Sin Hong Kong District 420,183 9.3 45,540
Yau Tsim Mong Hong Kong District 307,878 6.9 40,136
Kwai Tsing Hong Kong District 511,167 23.3 22,421
North Hong Kong District 304,134 136.6 2,055
Sai Kung Hong Kong District 436,627 129.6 3,135
Sha Tin Hong Kong District 630,273 68.7 8,842
Tai Po Hong Kong District 296,853 136.1 2,156
Tsuen Wan Hong Kong District 304,637 61.7 4,679
Tuen Mun Hong Kong District 487,546 82.8 6,057
Yuen Long Hong Kong District 578,529 138.4 3,858
Islands Hong Kong District 141,327 175.1 783
Nossa Senhora de Fátima Macau Freguesia 211,800 3.2 66,187
Santo António Macau Freguesia 120,600 1.1 109,636
São Lázaro Macau Freguesia 31,900 0.6 53,166
Macau Freguesia 46,100 3.4 13,558
São Lourenço Macau Freguesia 47,200 1.0 47,200
Nossa Senhora do Carmo Macau Freguesia 78,000 7.6 10,263
São Francisco Xavier Macau Freguesia 4,000 7.6 526
Cotai Macau Freguesia n/a 5.8 n/a
Guancheng Dongguan Subdistrict 162,116 13.5 12,008
Dongcheng Dongguan Subdistrict 492,875 110.0 4,480
Nancheng Dongguan Subdistrict 289,255 59.0 4,902.62
Wanjiang Dongguan Subdistrict 244,765 50.5 4,846
Shilong Dongguan Town 141,850 11.3 12,553
Gaobu Dongguan Town 217,436 30.0 7,247
Zhongtang Dongguan Town 139,563 60.0 2,326
Machong Dongguan Town 118,062 74.0 1,595
Wangniudun Dongguan Town 84,786 31.5 2,685
Hongmei Dongguan Town 58,114 33.0 1,761
Shijie Dongguan Town 246,960 36.0 6,860
Daojiao Dongguan Town 143,107 63.0 2,271
Shatian Dongguan Town 177,482 107.0 1,658
Houjie Dongguan Town 438,283 126.0 3,478
Humen Dongguan Town 638,657 178.5 3,577
Chang'an Dongguan Town 664,230 97.8 6,791
Dalingshan Dongguan Town 279,414 110.0 2,540
Dalang Dongguan Town 310,889 118.0 2,634
Huangjiang Dongguan Town 231,399 98.0 2,361
Liaobu Dongguan Town 418,578 87.5 4,783
Fenggang Dongguan Town 318,971 82.5 3,866
Tangxia Dongguan Town 482,067 128.0 3,766
Qingxi Dongguan Town 312,639 143.0 2,186
Zhangmutou Dongguan Town 132,816 118.8 1,117
Xiegang Dongguan Town 99,387 103.0 964
Changping Dongguan Town 386,378 108.0 3,577
Qiaotou Dongguan Town 166,774 56.0 2,978
Qishi Dongguan Town 121,693 51.0 2,386
Hengli Dongguan Town 204,830 50.0 4,096
Dongkeng Dongguan Town 138,819 27.5 5,047
Chashan Dongguan Town 156,522 51.0 3,069
Shipai Dongguan Town 160,202 56.0 2,860
Chancheng Foshan District 1,101,077 154.1 7,145
Nanhai Foshan District 2,588,844 1,073.9 2,410
Shunde Foshan District 2,461,701 806.5 3,052
Sanshui Foshan District 622,645 874.2 712
Gaoming Foshan District 420,044 939.6 447
Xiangzhou Zhuhai District 892,592 550.8 1,621
Doumen Zhuhai District 415,854 613.8 677
Jinwan Zhuhai District 251,783 559.6 454
Shiqiqu Zhongshan Subdistrict 206,362 22.5 9,171
Dongqu Zhongshan Subdistrict 153,477 73.1 2,099
Nanqu Zhongshan Subdistrict 64,548 25.1 2,571
Xiqu Zhongshan Subdistrict 97,864 49.1 1,993
THIDZ (Zhongshangang) Zhongshan Subdistrict 229,997 158.7 1,449
Wuguishan Zhongshan Subdistrict 48,019 101.2 474
Huangpu Zhongshan Town 145,017 88.3 1,642
Nantou Zhongshan Town 130,712 25.7 5,086
Dongfeng Zhongshan Town 123,562 56.2 2,198
Fusha Zhongshan Town 57,570 35.4 1,626
Xiaolan Zhongshan Town 315,626 71.9 4,389
Dongsheng Zhongshan Town 118,052 76.7 1,539
Guzhen Zhongshan Town 147,440 52.2 2,824
Henglan Zhongshan Town 103,135 75.7 1,362
Sanjiao Zhongshan Town 121,770 70.1 1,737
Minzhong Zhongshan Town 108,417 121.8 890
Nanlang Zhongshan Town 107,977 152.4 708
Gangkou Zhongshan Town 113,748 71.2 1,597
Dachong Zhongshan Town 74,276 40.6 1,829
Shenwan Zhongshan Town 31,392 52.4 599
Sanxiang Zhongshan Town 200,197 93.6 2,138
Banfu Zhongshan Town 82,412 79.6 1,035
Shaxi Zhongshan Town 119,372 60.9 1960
Tanzhou Zhongshan Town 219,943 129.5 1698
Pengjiang Jiangmen District 719,120 320.5 2,233
Jianghai Jiangmen District 254,365 110.5 2,329
Xinhui Jiangmen District 849,155 1,387.0 626
Taishan Jiangmen County-level city 941,087 3,285.9 286
Kaiping Jiangmen County-level city 697,395 1,658.5 422
Heshan Jiangmen County-level city 494,935 1,081.3 457
Enping Jiangmen County-level city 492,814 1,696.7 290
Huicheng Huizhou District 1,579,691 1488.4 1,061
Huiyang Huizhou District 764,816 1,205.4 634
Boluo Huizhou County 1,038,198 2,855.1 363
Huidong Huizhou County 907,229 3,526.7 257
Longmen Huizhou County 307,068 2,267.2 135
Duanzhou Zhaoqing District 479,344 153.9 3,112
Dinghu Zhaoqing District 164,701 552.3 298
Gaoyao Zhaoqing County-level city 753,357 2,185.6 344
Guangning Zhaoqing County 424,128 2,455.4 172
Huaiji Zhaoqing County 814,172 3,554.0 228
Fengkai Zhaoqing County 398,304 2,723.9 146
Deqing Zhaoqing County 341,197 2,002.8 170
Sihui Zhaoqing County-level city 542,882 1,262.9 429

Pearl River mega-city

A 2011 article in British newspaper The Telegraph reported on a "Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One" project. The stated goal was to "mesh the transport, energy, water and telecommunications networks of the nine cities together."[13] (Hong Kong and Macau were not included.) However, the Chinese government denied that such a project existed.[14]


Removal of floating trash from the surface of the Pearl River in Guangzhou

The Pearl River Delta is notoriously polluted,[citation needed] with sewage and industrial waste treatment facilities failing to keep pace with the growth in population and industry in the area. A large portion of the pollution is brought about by factories run by Hong Kong manufacturers in the area. Much of the area is frequently covered with a brown smog. This has a strong effect on the pollution levels in the delta.[citation needed]

Pollution is a great risk to the Chinese white dolphins that inhabit the area.

On March 22, 2007 the World Bank approved a $96 million loan to the PRC government to reduce water pollution in the Pearl River Delta.[15] On December 23, 2008 it was announced that ¥48.6 billion (about $7.1 billion) will be spent on the river by mid-2010 to clean up the river's sewage problems quoted by Zhang Hu, the director of Guangzhou municipal bureau of water affairs. The city will build about 30 water treatment plants, which will treat 2.25 million tonnes of water per day. The program hopes to cut down the amount of sewage in the area by 85%, and was also of fundamental importance for the 2010 Asian Games held in Guangzhou from November 12, 2010 to November 27, 2010.[16]

In October 2009, Greenpeace East Asia released a report, "Poisoning the Pearl River" that detailed the results of a study it conducted in which 25 samples were collected from five manufacturing facilities in the Greater Pearl River Delta. The study concluded that all the facilities sampled were discharging waste-water containing chemicals with proven or suspected hazardous properties including beryllium, copper, manganese, and heavy metals, as well as high levels of organic chemicals.[17] These substances are associated with a long list of health problems such as cancer, endocrine disruption, renal failure and damage to the nervous system as well being known to harm the environment. Three of the five facilities sampled (Qingyuan Top Dragon Co. Ltd, Wing Fung P.C. Board Co. Ltd. and Techwise Qingyuan Circuit Co. Ltd. ) contained concentrations of chemicals which exceeded the limits set by Guangdong provincial effluent standards. These companies were then subjected to a Clean Production Audit according to Article 28 of China's Cleaner Production Promotion Law.[18] Guangdong Environmental Protection Bureau took a stance against the companies by blacklisting them.

See also


  2. World Bank Report Provides New Data to Help Ensure Urban Growth Benefits the Poor, The World Bank Group, 26 Jan 2015
  3. Atlas of China, page 123. SinoMaps Press, 2007.
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  10. 10.0 10.1 China's low costs are on the rise 2008-08-19 Retrieved 2010-01-09
  11. Can China keep its workers happy as strikes and protests rise?,Mukul Devichand, BBC Radio 4, Crossing Continents,, 15 December 2011
  12. Rahul Jacob, 30 November 2011, Talk is cheap in the world’s factory,
  13. China to create largest mega city in the world with 42 million people 2011-01-29 Retrieved 2011-01-29
  14. Guandong denies ambitious megacity plan CCTV News English 2011-01-30
  15. World Bank loans China $96 mln for delta environment Reuters 2007-03-22 Retrieved 2010-01-09
  16. Guangzhou contributes 48.6 bln yuan to clean up Pearl River 2008-12-24 Retrieved 2010-01-09

Further reading

  • Ma, Xiangming (S: 马向明, T: 馬向明, P: Mǎ Xiàngmíng). The integration of the city-region of the Pearl River Delta (S: 珠江三角洲城市区域的一体化, T: 珠江三角洲城市區域的一體化, P: Zhūjiāngsānjiǎozhōu Chéngshìqūyù de Yītǐhuà). Asia Pacific Viewpoint. Special Issue: China's Changing Regional Development: Trends, Strategies and Challenges in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) Period, Guest editor: Peter T.Y. Cheung. Volume 53, Issue 1, pages 97–104, April 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8373.2012.01478.x. First published online on 4 April 2012. Full document in English, with abstracts in English and Mandarin Chinese.

External links

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