Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Beijing vs. Shanghai vs. Hong Kong: showdown of China's big three

By William Wang (CRI Online)

09:55, June 13, 2013

Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, each with their own distinct personalities [Photo: Wang]

Outside of China, millions have never even heard of Chinese cities such as Chongqing, Chengde or Xian, yet one mention of Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, and heads will nod enthusiastically. For better or worse, these Sino-metropolises have managed to seep their way into the global consciousness as representative of the 5-billion strong countries. Proving that rivalries within a country extend beyond football and basketball teams, each of these three cities is keen to establish itself as a counterpoint to the other two.


In terms of history, the Chinese capital wins hands down. It has been an urban center for about 30 centuries, and an impressive amount of its extensive history remains on display throughout the city.

Yet despite all its palaces, temples and parks, Beijing is still dominated by a mass of bleak roads and grey rectangular buildings. Author Lionel Shriver even described Beijing as the ugliest city she'd ever seen.

It's true that people do not come to Beijing for its luscious scenery, but rather, its culture and history, which are the foundation of its reputation as China's art and music capital; every day rock bands and painters flock to the capital. Business is also booming, albeit in a less obvious manner than in Shanghai or Hong Kong.

Beijing is also strongly influenced by the presence of more than 70 universities, educating a mass of students from across China and the globe. Many students come from abroad to learn Mandarin, thus enabling an unprecedented number of "laowai", foreigners, to integrate into local communities and businesses.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】

We recommend:

30 romantic sceneries around world

Have a look! Hottest female stars

A visit to pupils in deep mountain area

Nanjing students present fantastic nude painting

Travel guide for Children's Day

Wandering the Shuyuan Gate of Xi'an

Six Chinese cities with best feng shui

Tears and laughters of children's childhood

Childhood games of Chinese early 80's

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Austria peacekeepers start to withdraw

  2. Chinese public service ship starts voyage

  3. Afghan child labor works

  4. Hospitals, Red Cross slow to adopt system

  5. Suspected food poisoning sickens 160

  6. Teach children to avoid abuse: experts

  7. Top 10 'small' countries with features

  8. Soccer match: China VS. the Netherlands

  9. Turn white rabbit to 'gold'

  10. China owned MG unveils new car

Most Popular


  1. Market demand adds new dimension to trade row
  2. Optimism remains over resumption of talks
  3. Space dream crystallized with Shenzhou-10 launch
  4. Enthusiasts dream big after Shenzhou-10 launch
  5. Surprise at slower foreign trade growth
  6. Food waste hinders China's green shift
  7. Businesses benefit from 'gaokao economy'
  8. Sex education–a need to be open in China
  9. Deter jaywalking with shock photos
  10. Deep-voiced bosses top earners, managers

What’s happening in China

Turn white rabbit to 'gold' - A young entrepreneur's goal

  1. Hospitals, Red Cross slow to adopt system
  2. Boy's death focuses attention on child labor
  3. Banknotes worth $65,240 eaten by termintes
  4. Building collapses after blast in E China
  5. Names of victims in fatal NE plant fire released