Research theme: Contemporary China

China is experiencing a rapid tremendous social transformation with an unprecedented wide scope and huge influence. This transformation not only changes the lives of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also has a great influence on tens of thousands of people living in other developed and developing countries. These changes, including the economic growth, urban transformation, population aging as well as other transitions, have brought a unique opportunity for scholars to study. The aim of this research theme is to understand the dramatic changes underway in China in terms of urban development, social transformation and its interactions with the international community.

Relevant Papers

Jianzheng Liu, and Weifeng Li. 2014. “A nighttime light imagery estimation of ethnic disparity in economic well-being in mainland China and Taiwan (2001–2013).” Eurasian Geography and Economics 55 (6):691-714. doi: 10.1080/15387216.2015.1041147.
PDF Slides IACP Karen R. Polenske Best Paper Award

Jianzheng Liu, Jie Li, Weifeng Li, and Jingsi Shaw. 2015. Featured graphic: Mapping ethnic migration in mainland China from early 1960s to 2010Environment and Planning A 47 (12):1-3. doi: 10.1177/0308518X15616632. (Graphic article)


  • 2015. The 9th International Association for China Planning (IACP) Conference, Chongqing, 19 to 21 June 2015. Presentation title: A Nighttime Light Imagery Estimation of Ethnic Disparity in Economic Well-being in Mainland China and Taiwan (2001-2013).
  • 2013. International Conference on China’s Urban Transformation and Restructuring, Guangzhou, China, December 13-15. Presentation title: Measuring ethnic disparity in economic well-being in China using DMSP/OLS night-time imagery.