MANG6293 Project Management Sample

Posted on November 29, 2021 by Cheapest Assignment

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In recent years China has been constantly in the news for its rise in infrastructural development along with its chivalry and willingness to give out loans to countries in need. Although both of these matters might look unrelated at first glance, both of them share a common thread that is often missed. Both these ventures by the government of the Republic of China have mixed feelings equally from the government and the general public.

In this academic, we will closely examine one such infrastructural venture that the Chinese government had undertaken in recent times, but the results of the project are far from what was promised to the stakeholders and to the general public.

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Commonly referred to as the Manhattan of China, the Tianjin infrastructure is a project that has failed to meet the public’s expectations more than once and also set the government highly into debt. The model of the new town which has been heavily inspired from New York’s Manhattan was supposed to be the government’s answer to the bustling rise of American Capitalism but quickly proved to be a warning sign to struggling governments all around the world.

A Brief History of Tianjin

Tianjin before being converted into an ambitious infrastructure project was a quiet city, municipality and coastal metropolis just beside the Bohai Sea. The town which is now a part of China’s 9 proudest districts is a metropolis with a population of almost 31 million people. The area is governed by the PRC and thus receives a significant amount of government funds every year. Before the coastal district was planned for a resurrection, the city was mainly known for its seafood exports and local handicrafts among others.

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The Resurrection of Tianjin

In 2006, the PRC decided that Tianjin deserved a facelift and it will choose this coastal district for its ambitious infrastructural practices. Government funds were quickly dispersed and the model for a new Tianjin was created, heavily inspired from New York’s Manhattan. (Caprotti et al. 2015) The city would have everything from a metro rail, to sprawling shopping malls, tall skyscrapers and more. In the first couple of years, work went on smoothly and the city quickly became the centre of attraction for the whole country. Enquiries from employers and businesses started pouring in and PRC was happy of such quick success. But post-2010, just 4 years from the inception of the project, things started to slow down and the PRC started slowly withdrawing its funds.

Multiple reports including those from state news agencies such as the South China Post reported that things were not looking good for Tianjin, or Yujiapu Financial District which the new name was chosen for this district. But not before 2017, did this massive failure of the Chinese government get attention from international media. What started as a light-hearted piece from the New York Times, quickly became a news frenzy and most international news agencies were flocking to China to report on the government’s massive failure.

The Present State of Yujiapu Financial District

In a recent article pioneered by New York Times, it was revealed that almost everything has come to a standstill in Tianjin. There are bare skeletons in the sky as a result of unfinished construction, empty malls and railway stations, pet stores with no pets and residents who are not hopeful of a bright future.

One of the many international businesses that were supposed to open a new campus in Tianjin was The Juilliard School based in New York City. Aptly named The Tianjin Juilliard School, its doors are set to open in the fall of 2020, but as of date there is no evidence of interest from students. Almost 4/5th of all the office spaces in Tianjin are lying vacant and as of recent reports, no international or national businesses are showing interest in opening their operations in Tianjin. The situation is so bad in Tianjin that the government has recently decided to waive off the rent on commercial properties for the first year. From this data, it is quite clear that the Yujiapu Financial District meets none of the expectations that the PRC, as well as China’s citizens, aspired of it.

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But What Actually Went Wrong in Tianjin?

Now that the situation in Tianjin has almost died now and both the government and the local public isn’t showing much interest in what the future holds, we can take a closer look at the bigger picture that was supposed to be achieved and what went wrong in between that led to such a shortcoming.

One of the main reasons that are evident from the very beginning is rapid urbanization. One of China’s main strategies for a boost in economic growth is the policy of rapid urbanization which can be translated to “build and the people will come.” (Chang et al. 2016) While this policy of undertaking major projects did work for some, like the ones in Shenzhen, Tianjin is a clear example that not all infrastructure projects are made the same and thus a careful analysis, as well as a forecast of the future, should be prepared beforehand.

Along with this, there are several other reasons as to why such a huge and multibillion-dollar project failed even after scrutinization by the PRC. Some of the most significant of these reasons are as mentioned below:

Lack of Planning: As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, Tianjin was a quiet coastal metropolis right beside the Bohai river. The Bohai river which is a part of the South China Sea has traditionally been a route for ships and sailors who are engaged in the business of seafood import and export. In 2006, when the PRC set its eyes on the development of Tianjin, one crucial factor that was omitted was that only building large skyscrapers and including facilities found in Manhattan won’t transform Tianjin into the new economic capital of Asia.

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  1. A lot more goes into the success of a city like Manhattan and that is not only planning.
  2. Location: As mentioned above, the city of Tianjin is located right next to the Bohai river, which despite being a major route for sailors isn’t a viable option for other businesses across the world. (Caprotti 2014) On the other hand, New York which is at the shore of the Hudson River is a key landmark and a river way that connects the busiest financial districts of America. Despite the fact that Bohai does attract foreign investments, but it is not a suitable option for tech companies, which is one of the crucial factors that determine the success of any district.
  3. Lack of Talent: Unlike other cities in China like Shenzhen where there is an abundance of tech talent, Tianjin has close to none. Most of its population is engaged in agricultural produce, seafood and shipping, which makes it unlike that any company will open offices in the city. Along with this one of the most crucial factors that businesses around the world look into before making investment decisions in foreign territory is the availability of opportunities, talent as well as the cost of acquisition. Tianjin being located far from mainland China, people most often need to travel to other locations for business needs. Along with this, the talent that is present in Tianjin needs to be trained from the ground up in order to meet the expectations of employers and brands from around the world. Last but not the least, the cost of acquiring talent in Tianjin is much higher as compared to other cities of China, thus making it unsuitable for most business needs.
  4. Lack of Foreign Investment: One of the most crucial factors that determine the success of any country’s infrastructure projects is the promise of foreign investments and this is one of the major setbacks of the Tianjin project. Before the PRC began investing in Tianjin, its professionals hardly reached out to foreign investors as the government hoped local businesses and China’s own industries would be sufficient to fuel the growth of such a massive project. Only when things slowed down and the promise from local investors seemed bleak, did the government start approaching foreign companies, but till then things were already too late. Until late 2018, the only foreign company that the PRC was able to secure for Tianjin was The School of Juilliard, which is a contemporary art school located in New York. (Li et al. 2018) But even this investment came with a lot of subsidies and investments from the local government. All of this and much more contributed to the epic failure of the Tianjin project for the Chinese government.

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After Effect of the Resurrection

Now that the dust has almost settled on the Tianjin project, the after-effects of such a large-scale failure is coming to light. Some of the most significant downfalls are as mentioned below.

  1. The PRC spent close to 32 billion US dollars on the development of Tianjin and a significant amount of this investment was made by the central government. Along with this, it has been reported that there were multiple private investors as well from various precincts of China. All the investors and the government are still looking for ways to how their money can be recovered, but to date, the news is not promising.
  2. Most of the office skyscrapers that were constructed in the heart of Tianjin are still vacant as close to no one wants to rent in the city. Recently the local government came out with an advertisement that stated that all commercial tenants will get a free year of rent, but even then almost 4/5th of the city offices are lying vacant.
  3. Airports, trains, bus and metro stations are all deserted as almost no one from other precincts of China visit the Yujiapu Financial District and those that do often leave in the first half of work when things are settled. Malls, shopping centres and markets are most crowded by the very few rich locals and mostly left deserted.
  4. In late 2018, there was a huge blast in the heart of Tianjin port that killed close to 173 people (Kim 2014). This blast and its severe effects which level 4 buildings to the ground have further led to the rare chances of developing this city once had. The reason behind this explosion, as has been reported recently, is due to a high amount of chemical and toxic explosives being stored at the Tianjin port. The lack of supervision and adequately trained staff members, led these materials to catch fire and cause an explosion that took several lives.
  5. The failure of Tianjin has further contributed to the country’s already existing debt problem and now China has a debt amount close to US 5.2 trillion. The failed People’s Republic of China hoped that its plan of rapid urbanization would boost the country’s GDP and reduce its debt problem.  (Wang Jinghua et al. 2014) What started as a smooth plan with the development of Shenzhen quickly became a disaster noted across the world.

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The present state of Tianjin and that of the People’s Republic of China as a whole is not one that is showing signs of recovery anytime soon. China’s debt is increasing and such failed multi-billion-dollar projects along with others is a sign that the country needs to consider other options when it comes to recovering economic growth.

All that can be said is that the government needs to implement proper and more effective strategies in place if its hopes for the state to recover and further be wary of projects like this that might not bear fruit in the near future.(Guo Yuming et al. 2011).

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Caprotti, F. et al. 2015. ‘Eco’ For Whom? Envisioning Eco-urbanism in the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, China. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39(3), pp. 495–517. doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12233.

Chang, I.-C.C. et al. 2016. A Green Leap Forward? Eco-State Restructuring and the Tianjin–Binhai Eco-City Model. Regional Studies 50(6), pp. 929–943. doi: 10.1080/00343404.2015.1108519.

Guo Yuming et al. 2011. The Impact of Temperature on Mortality in Tianjin, China: A Case-Crossover Design with a Distributed Lag Nonlinear Model. Environmental Health Perspectives 119(12), pp. 1719–1725. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103598.

Kim, J.I. 2014. Making cities global: the new city development of Songdo, Yujiapu and Lingang. Planning Perspectives 29(3), pp. 329–356. doi: 10.1080/02665433.2013.824370.

Li, G. et al. 2018. Future temperature-related years of life lost projections for cardiovascular disease in Tianjin, China. Science of The Total Environment 630, pp. 943–950. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.261.

Wang Jinghua et al. 2014. Sex Differences in Trends of Incidence and Mortality of First-Ever Stroke in Rural Tianjin, China, From 1992 to 2012. Stroke 45(6), pp. 1626–1631. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.003899.

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