Interpretations of globalization have ranged from seeing it as 'neutral' economic and commercial processes driven by growing trade and investment to the globalization of capitalism following the end of the Cold War, or as the political and cultural spread of 'Western', especially US, influence. The context for this exploration of China's regions in an era of globalization begins with a discussion of what is meant by 'globalization' itself. In practical terms, the result was that the Chinese authorities set out to attract global capital in the form of foreign direct investment in manufacturing and assembly operations. The picture of China's relationship with globalization painted so far in this chapter has focused very much on production processes, and the ways in which China's engagement with the global economy led it to become the 'factory of the world'.