Chongqing promoted to national central city

16:52, February 10, 2010      

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Chongqing has been promoted to become one of China's 5 major national central cities for the first time in the "national urban system plan" recently formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD). Chongqing has become a national central city joining the likes of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

A great development opportunity for Chongqing

The term "national central city" was first put forth by the Ministry of Construction, the former MOHURD, while formulating the national urban system plan in 2005 according to Urban Planning Law. A national central city refers to a city designed to serve functions such as leadership, influence as well as centralization and distribution in terms of politics, economy and culture.

Listing Chongqing among national central cities reflects the strategic adjustment to China's regional development. For the 5 central cities, Shanghai is the center of eastern China, Beijing and Tianjin are the centers of northern China and the Bohai Sea Rim, Guangzhou is the center of the Pearl River Delta region, and Chongqing is the only center in central and western China. "Securing the orientation as a national central city, which is simply like owning a very important business card, is of great significance to Chongqing's economic and social development," Zhang Yuan, chief planner of Chongqing Urban Planning Bureau said in an interview with Chongqing Economic Times.

Important chess piece in Central Government's strategic layout

Zhou Liqun, a well-known economist and a consultancy expert at the National Development and Reform Commission of China, believes that China has successively launched a series of national strategies since the end of the 20th century including the development of the western regions, the rejuvenation of the northeastern regions and the development of the Bohai Sea Rim, and the strategic position of China's central and western regions is becoming more and more important. In addition, Chongqing is not only the sole municipality directly under the Central Government in China's central and western regions, but also has a group of quite powerful cities around it. It was a strategic decision and an important step made by the Central Government to list Chongqing as one of China's national central cities.

Zhou said that the international status of a country is not determined by its area but by its development conditions of its central cities. "It is very significant that Chongqing has been listed, and will be closely connected with China's future strategy on deeply developing the western regions." In other words, the central cities of a country are like the treasure bowls of the country, and every developed country has established a certain number of national central city systems. For example, Germany has Berlin and Frankfurt, France has Paris and Lyon, and the U.S. also has over 10 national central cities.


Chongqing is the economic and financial center in the upstream region of the Yangtze River, the interior export-oriented processing base as well as the region taking the lead in expanding opening-up. The city is also an important modern manufacturing base and a base to commercialize R&D outcomes. In addition, it serves as the demonstration area for the development of the recycling economy in central and western China, the national high-tech industrial base, the shipping center in the upstream regions of the Yangtze River, and is a pilot area for the western China development program. It is also the pilot area of the comprehensive supplementary reform for the coordinated development of urban-rural areas.

The capital of China is the political, economic, traffic and cultural center, as well as a city that has the most cultural heritage sites in the world.


The economic center in northern China is an international port. Located at the center of the Bohai Sea Rim, Tianjin is the biggest costal open city, as well as the biggest shipping and industrial center in northern China. The Tianjin Binhai New Area is hailed as the third Growth Pole for the Chinese economy in the future.


The largest city in China is the economic, financial, trade and shipping center, and owns China's largest industrial base and foreign trade harbor.


The largest city in southern China is the political, economic, scientific, education and cultural center in southern China, as well as one of the most important traffic hubs in China.

2009 per capita of 10 cities

Guangzhou 16,884 yuan
Shanghai 16,683 yuan
Beijing 15,638 yuan
Tianjin 11,467 yuan
Chengdu 10,394 yuan
Wuhan 9,564 yuan
Chongqing 9,221 yuan
Kunming 9,046 yuan
Xi'an 8,743 yuan
Shenyang 11,400 yuan

GDP of the 5 national central cities in 2009

Shanghai 1.49 trillion yuan
Beijing 1.19 trillion yuan
Guangzhou more than 900 billion yuan
Tianjin about 700 billion yuan
Chongqing more than 650 billion yuan

By People's Daily Online
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