Ur­ban Trans­for­ma­tion

Ori­en­tal Outlook De­cem­ber 20

Beijing Review - - THIS WEEK PEOPLE & POINTS -

China has made re­mark­able progress in ur­ban de­vel­op­ment over the past 40 years of re­form and open­ing up, with the ur­ban­iza­tion rate in­creas­ing from 17.9 per­cent in 1978 to 58.52 per­cent in 2017. The struc­ture of Chi­nese ci­ties has un­der­gone tremen­dous changes, which has had a pro­found in­flu­ence on the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment.

China’s four first-tier ci­ties—bei­jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Shen­zhen— were all listed as the world’s first-tier ci­ties by GAWC, an in­ter­na­tional ur­ban re­search in­sti­tu­tion, in Novem­ber. The four ci­ties have also achieved re­mark­able eco­nomic growth, with their GDP ex­ceed­ing 2 tril­lion yuan ($290 bil­lion) in 2017.

In ad­di­tion to the four first-tier ci­ties, 10 other ci­ties re­al­ized GDP of over 1 tril­lion yuan ($145 bil­lion) in 2017. They in­clude Wuhan in cen­tral Hubei Province, Chongqing in the south­west, Chengdu in south­west Sichuan Province and Nan­jing in east Jiangsu Province.

The Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta have taken the lead in ur­ban de­vel­op­ment in China, with 11 ci­ties from the two re­gions rank­ing among the top 20 ci­ties in terms of GDP in China in 2017.

As China has a huge pop­u­la­tion, high­er­level ur­ban­iza­tion can­not be re­al­ized sim­ply by re­ly­ing on a hand­ful of me­trop­o­lises. City

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