chapter  1
The Rural Fringe in China: Existing Conflicts and Prospective Urban-Rural Synergies
Pages 16

The rural fringe of Chinese cities is today a transitional place between urban and rural areas where several contradictions take place partly inherited from the past and partly due to recent trends of development. A consolidated body of international literature regarding the conceptualization of the fringe and the urbanrural interaction has already demonstrated that ‘populations and activities described either as “rural” or “urban” are more closely linked both across space and across sectors than is usually thought, and that distinctions are often arbitrary’ (Tacoli 1998). Thus peri-urban households may be ‘multispatial’, with some residents working in towns or others engaged in non-farm activities in the countryside. China, as other emerging countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, featuring rapid urbanization, is no exception with similar ‘complexities of changing periurban production and livelihood systems’ (Simon 2008).