Cap­i­tal cities mustn’t grow as par­a­sites

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

of Ji­nan, East China’s Shan­dong province, not sat­is­fied with the city’s sta­tus as provin­cial cap­i­tal, re­cently called on the en­tire province to give the city more sup­port in or­der to make it the lead­ing city in the province in terms ofGDPas well. Bei­jing News com­mented onWed­nes­day:

It is nat­u­ral for Ji­nan to be am­bi­tious in terms of its eco­nomic strength since it is the provin­cial cap­i­tal. How­ever, it is wrong for it to call on the en­tire province to sup­port its am­bi­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the na­tional sta­tis­tics bureau, 15 cities in Shan­dong were on the list of China’s 100 cities with the largest GDP in 2016. Among these cities, Qing­dao ranked high­est, at 12th on the list, while Ji­nan at 21, ranked third among the province’s cities.

But the de­vel­op­ment of Shan­dong’s cities is well bal­anced. This is good. In many Chi­nese prov­inces and au­ton­o­mous re­gions, the cap­i­tal’s de­vel­op­ment is of­ten more ad­vanced while block­ing the de­vel­op­ment of other cities.

That Qing­dao is the lead­ing city in Shan­dong is due to it be­ing at the fore­front of the mar­ket econ­omy, and it is home to a num­ber of lead­ing Chi­nese brands in­clud­ingHaier, Hisense, and Ts­ing­tao Beer.

It is ad­mirable that Ji­nan wants to make its econ­omy stronger and im­prove its sta­tus, but that should be based on its own ef­forts.

To do well in this re­gard re­quires the com­pre­hen­sive deep­en­ing of re­form. Cap­i­tal cities could be big­ger and stronger, but not by be­ing blindly greedy about their de­vel­op­ment. They need to be self-re­liant.

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