The Harbin subway case.
Teun Blik (TU-D student nr: 1358723) Words: 4544 Keywords: Harbin metro, Harbin Electrical Car Company, HECC, Harbin Subway Office, Harbin Subway Company, Project 7381
Abstract: Although China is often hailed by the rest of the world because of their quick decision-making and execution there is also the other side of China's construction policy. There are a lot of cases where decision-making takes a long time. Because of the many actors involved and many layers of government who need to approve a project before it starts, delays can easily take years. This paper unveils the different actors involved and their interactions in Chinese construction policy. It also tries to find an answer to the research question: How do delays in Chinese construction policy occur? It will do so by analyzing the actors and their problematic ties in the Harbin subway case. Introduction: China is building complete cities within years, while other projects take years and years to even start. Where does this difference come from and which actors are involved. In order to examine the problem I've selected the Harbin subway case. The main question in this paper will be: What caused the huge delays in the Harbin subway project? In order to examine the problem I've split the paper into 3 parts. First I'll give a history overview in which the events in the Harbin subway case are chronologically shown. Secondly I'll look at all the actors involved and examine their role, interactions with other actors and complicated ties to other actors. At the end of the document I'll finish by discussing the problem and giving my conclusion. History: The Harbin metro system has a long history of decision making. The first steps to create the Harbin subway system date back to the year 1973. In this year political tensions between Soviet Russia and China rose. In a reaction to this China decided to start "Project 7381" an air defence bunker designed to be used as the start of a subway line (West China tours, 2012). After 6 years of construction the initial plans for the Harbin subway system were called of for financial reasons. After a while Harbin municipality showed interest in the project again in 1986. Therefore the Harbin Electrical Car Company (HECC) was instructed to prepare plans for the new subway system. Due to the lack of technical expertise this took longer than expected. After 10 years HECC finished planning for the new Harbin subway. In 1995 after HECC had finished his research and planning Harbin municipality had to secure funding for the project. During this period th Harbin municipality had 2 options: 1) Build the Harbin subway system, which was a long term project 2) Boost the north bank zone of the Songhua river, which was a short term project Due to the short term orientation of the mayor Harbin municipality favored the short term project over the long term. The reason for his decision was because he got judged by what he accomplished during his election period. Because the positive effect of the Harbin subway system would not be visible within this period the Harbin subway system was once again called off (Groenleer, 2012, p. 82).
In 1998 Harbin municipality showed interest for the third time and decided to continue the Harbin subway project. Harbin Electric Car Company (HECC) was renamed to Harbin Subway Office and ready to proceed. It's main task was to manage the main subway staff and provide the necessary documents and reports to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). However due to the Asian financial crisis the Central Government refused to fund the project (Jiang, 2010, p. 52). After the Asian financial crisis eventually faded out the Chinese National Government decided it was time to stimulate the economy. In order to be eligible for economic stimulation for the Harbin subway system Harbin had to meet certain criteria. The GDP of the city...