Rethinking China’s Rural Revitalization from a Historical Perspective

Siu Wai Wong, Bo Sin Tang, Jinlong Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Rural revitalization calls for a new type of urban–rural relations in urbanizing China. Although the importance of urban–rural dichotomy has received increasing attention by scholars interested in studying urban development and governance in contemporary China, their interpretations about the connection between urban and rural areas remain fragmented and ambiguous. This article seeks to trace the origin of the Chinese city and its relations with the countryside in the imperial era. It generates a more complete understanding of the rural–urban relationship in the traditional Chinese society and to appeal for a more rounded research agenda for the Chinese urbanization based on a sound historical perspective. The findings of this study explain why and how the traditional urban–rural continuum has disappeared in contemporary China, and identifies the key lessons and wisdoms that we can borrow from the imperial era when we come to tackle the present urban–rural development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Urban History
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Chinese cities
  • dualist system
  • urbanization
  • urban–rural relationship
  • village society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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