International Center for
China Development Studies


Copyright © 2016 International Center of China Development Studies, HKU


Organization Structure

Prof. George C.S. Lin

Chairman of Advisory Board:
Prof. C. Y. Jim

Associate Directors:
Dr. Simon X.B. Zhao

Executive Committee Members:
Prof. David D. Zhang
Prof. Richard W.X. Hu
Dr. Roger C.K. Chan

Research Officer:
Mr Neo Chan

Senior Research Fellow
Dr. James J. Wang
Dr. Yongyuan Yin

Joint and Founding Institutions

Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)


Upon its successful accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and turned into the world's second largest economy, China has become the world focus of trade, investment, business, commerce, and even politics. China is now riding on the "High speed train of globalization", which signifies the emergence of age of economic growth, industrialization and urbanization. The upcoming unprecedented upgrading and going global of almost every sector of the economy will however generate not only tremendous opportunities for domestic economic growth but also immense development strains on society and environment globally. All of these have accentuated the importance and imperativeness for international collaborative studies and academic training on the broad issues of China development and globalization in the new 'order' in the world economy.

The International Center for China Development Studies (ICCDS) is intended to perform this function and contribute to this historical mission. Established in June 2002, ICCDS is jointly set up by two renowned institutions from HKU and Chinese Academy of Science. We are confident that the Center would emerge as a major global player and influential niche for China development and globalization issues. We look forward to having many other renowned institutions joining us later and the number of our research programs is growing.

Nature and Aims

  • to function as an international multi-disciplinary collaborative research platform for academic research, training and consultancy on China development and globalization issues;

  • to undertake high-impact and quality collaborative research and consultant work for international development organizations, governments, and Multi-National Corporations;

  • to organize high-profile international conferences, networking, information clearing and training programs among the participating institutions, particularly in conjunction with the MA in China Development Studies Program at HKU;

  • to explore external funding sources in support of research programmes in the Faculty; and to serve as a junction between the Faculty and outside organizations in China development studies.

Main Themes of Research

Globalization and Economic Growth, Cooperation and Integration

WTO Accession and Competitiveness (corporate, institution, and urban center)

Urbanization and Urban and Regional Transformation

Environment and Infrastructure Development

Public Policy and Social Development

Collaborative Research Projects and Programs

HKSAR RGC Theme-based Research Scheme project, Enhancing Hong Kong's Future as a Leading International Financial Centre, 09/2012-08/2017, awarded amount HK$15,000,000, Dr. Simon Zhao (Founding Director of the Centre), serving as Deputy Project Coordinator (DPC) and the core Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PI) of the project.

HKU Strategic Research Areas and Themes, China Business and Economics, 09/2013-12/2016, awarded amount HK$1,500,000, Dr. Simon Zhao (Founding Director of the Centre), serving as Deputy Convener of the project.

National Natural Science Fund (NSFC) project, The redevelopment of state-owned enterprise occupied land and urban spatial restructuring: A comparative study of Beijing, Shenyang and Guangzhou, 01/2013-12/2016, awarded amount RMB¥800,000, led by Prof. George Lin (Director of the Centre).

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, China Program, Land/Real Estate Development and Financial Crisis: A Comparative Study between China and World Major Experiences 1980-2013, 02/2014-02/2016, awarded amount US$31,000, led by Dr. Simon Zhao (Founding Director of the Centre).

4th round of Stanley Ho Alumni Challenge (SHAC) Matched Fund, Survey on High-end and Producer Service Activities and Sectors in Pearl River Delta Centre, 01/2013-12/2016, awarded amount HK$150,000, Dr. Simon Zhao (Founding Director of the Centre), serving as Principal Investigator.

Events & News

For Events & News details please refer to the following websites:

Department of Geography Master of Arts in China Development Studies (MAChDs) Fieldtrip

Distinguished presentations or keynote speeches given by the ICCDS's members


August, 2015

Dr. Simon Zhao, Funding Director of ICCDS, presented paper on "Gauging and Understanding the Growth and Decline of Global Financial Centers over Past Decades: Big Trend and Big Factors", and invited panellist for the session of "Launch of the Global Network on Financial Geography" at the Fourth Global Conference on Economic Geography 2015, jointly organized and sponsored by the School of Geography and the Environment at University of Oxford, and HKSAR RGC TRS Project, held at University of Oxford, in Oxford, UK. (For more information about the event, please refer to this link)


June, 2015

Dr. Simon Zhao, Director of ICCDS, Invited presentation on "Calm Before the Storm: The Future of China's Financial Institutions and Navigating Hong Kong's Challenges Ahead" at 7th International IFABS Conference Hangzhou 2015, organized by the International Finance and Banking Society (IFABS), and Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China.

Dr. Simon Zhao, Director of ICCDS, Invited presentation on "Calm Before the Storm: The Future of China's Financial Institutions and Navigating Hong Kong's Challenges Ahead" at 7th International IFABS Conference Hangzhou 2015, organized by the International Finance and Banking Society (IFABS), and Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China.


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Annual Report

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Master of Arts in China Development Studies


- 2015 -


Refereed Journals

Former Director, Prof. David Wong

  1. Liao, B. and Wong, D. W. (2015) “Changing urban residential patterns of Chinese migrants: A case of Shanghai from 2000 to 2010”, Urban Geography, 36(1), 109-126.

Associate Director, Dr. Simon Zhao

  1. Zhao, X.B. and Ching, L. (forthcoming) “Playing Games and Concepts: Beijing Olympics and China Urban Development Model”, under review for Journal of Contemporary China.

Affiliated researcher

  1. Pei, Q., Zhang, D.D. and Lee, H.F. (2015) “Evaluating the effectiveness of agricultural adaptation to climate change in preindustrial society”, Asian Geographer, DOI:10.1080/10225706.2015.1034735.

  2. Lee, H.F., Pei, Q. Zhang, D.D., and Choi, K.P.K. (2015) “Quantifying the intra-regional precipitation variability in northwestern China over the past 1,400 years”, PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0131693.

  3. Lee, H.F., Zhang, D.D. and Pei, Q. (2015) “Reconstruction of the geographic extent of drought anomalies in northwestern China over the last 539 years and its teleconnection with the Pacific Ocean”, The Holocene, 25(8), 1271-1284.

  4. Pei, Q., Zhang, D.D., Li, G. and Lee, H.F. (2015) “Climate change and the macroeconomic structure in pre-industrial Europe: New evidence from wavelet analysis”, PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0126480.

  5. Pei, Q., Zhang, D.D., Li, G., Winterhalder, B. and Lee, H.F. (2015) “Epidemics in Ming and Qing China: Impacts of changes in climate and economic well-being”, Social Science & Medicine, 136-137, 73-80.

  6. Lee, H.F., Zhang, D.D., Brecke, P. and Pei, Q. (2015) “Regional geographic factors mediate the climate-war relationship in Europe”, British Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(1), 1-28.

Professional Journals

Associate Director, Dr. Simon Zhao

  1. Michael, B., Zhao, X.B. and Wojcik, D. (2014) “Op-ed: China's solar energy can thrive - with the right financing”, China Economic Review, 2014:10 (available at

  2. Chan, Y.M. and Zhao, X. B. (2014) “Development of the small economies in the proximity of big country and the implications to Hong Kong’s competitiveness (比鄰大國小型經濟體發展與香港競爭力)” in Chinese, Bauhinia Tribune (紫荊論壇), 22, 4-11.

  3. Chan, Y.M. and Zhao, X. B. (2014) “The patterns of the global commodities trade and implications to the prospects of Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry (全球商品貿易格局及對香港製造業前景的啟示)” in Chinese, Bauhinia Tribune (紫荊論壇), 18, 75-84.

Book chapters

Affiliated researcher

  1. Lee, H.F. and Zhang, D.D. (2015) Quantitative analysis of climate change and human crises in history. In: M. Kwan, D. Richardson, D. Wang and C. Zhou (eds.) Space-Time Integration in Geography and GIScience: Research Frontiers in the US and China. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 235-267.

Public or consultancy reports

Associate Director, Dr. Simon Zhao

  1. Financial Services Development Council, Hong Kong. (2015) Developing Hong Kong's Human Capital in Financial Services . (Dr. Zhao chaired ICCDS's research team to support to the FSDC’s consultation sessions and undertake questionnaire surveys with financial industry organizations). ng_human_capital_in_financial_services

Other intellectual property
(including software, training materials, etc.)

Public Media

Knowledge Exchange-related and affiliated with the Centre’s news or interviews (in Chinese) collected from the Wisers platform

  1. Zhao, X.B. (2015) 香江落子前海橫琴南沙 , New Express Daily, B14, 買樓 王, 9/1/2015.

  2. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 香江金融中心國際展示廳啓幕將成前海率先交付項目 , Southern Metropolis Daily (Shenzhen), AIII08, 新聞, 26/12/2014.

  3. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 前海金融地標創新資本模式 , Shenzhen Special Zone Daily, D08, 超級樓市, 26/12/2014.

  4. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 香江金融發佈亞太金融生態圈戰略 , Daily Sunshine, A24, 晶財經, 26/12/2014.

  5. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 粵港澳金融論壇在前海舉行 , China Economic Times, 07, 區域經濟, 26/12/2014.

  6. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 粵自貿區拱衛香港金融中心 , Hong Kong Commercial Daily, A18, 中國經濟, 25/12/2014.

  7. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 粵港澳金融論壇在前海舉行 , Shenzhen Economic Daily, A06, 文產, 25/12/2014.

  8. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 桂港澳粵攜手東盟 探索加工貿易廣西模式 , Hong Kong Commercial Daily, A03, 專題新聞, 19/9/2014.

  9. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 首屆桂港合作論壇在邕舉辦 把脈桂港合作決勝江海戰略 , Hong Kong Commercial Daily, A01, 香江評論,頭條, 19/9/2014.

  10. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 江海新戰略桂港新機遇 首屆桂港合作論壇 18 日南寧開講 * Hong Kong Commercial Daily, A12, 專題新聞, 16/9/2014.

  11. Zhao, X.B. (2014) 桂港合作論壇開啟智慧盛宴 , Hong Kong Commercial Daily, A08, 專題新聞,特稿, 10/9/2014.

Publication Archives

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