Although many Chinese cities are surpassing other global cities in terms of economics, infrastructure, and livelihood, there are five in particular that deserve praise for their rapid pace of development: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou. All these cities show immense progress and exemplify China's vitality, reminding other countries why China will become the largest superpower by 2030.
As the country’s capital, Beijing is the nexus of all things cultural, educational and political in China.
Cultural — Beijing’s dual architecture reflects the progression of China. The CCTV Tower, Beijing National Stadium, and the National Center for the Performing Arts are sleek, upscale structures that show Beijing’s and China’s ingenuity and innovation. The city pays homage to its ancestry and history by preserving Tiananmen, the Imperial Ancestral Palace, and the Temple of Heaven, capturing the city’s and country’s splendor.
Education —Beijing houses many universities and attracts students from North America, Europe and other Asian regions.
Political — There are 16 administrative regions that comprise Beijing.
Financial — Akin to Wall Street, the Beijing Financial Street has many financial institutions, including 41 Global 500 firms. The four most important ones are People’s Bank of China, China Banking Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission and China Insurance Regulatory Commission. Surpassing New York’s and London’s economic influence, the United States can learn much from Beijing.
Shanghai is a popular tourist destination and most populous city in China. It is an epicenter of progression and vitality, reminding us of China’s affluence and significance.
Cultural — Shanghai’s architecture is a blend of traditional and futuristic designs. The Shanghai World Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower, and Oriental Pearl Tower exude a sense of efficiency that remind us of The Jetsons. Tradition stems from The Bund, Yu Garde,n and museums where artifacts from past dynasties are housed.
Education — Shanghai places much emphasis on education, housing more than 30 universities which may exceed Beijing’s.
Financial — Shanghai is called China’s Commercial Hub because of its location and GDP results this year. A chief exporter and importer, Shanghai accrues much profit and revenue from its transactions with other countries. “The city’s service sector, which includes property, finance, telecommunications and tourism, grew 9.6 percent in the January-June period, accounting 61.7 percent of GDP,” said the Shanghai Statistics Bureau.
Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan Province and represents China’s burgeoning transformation. The city is making tremendous economic and commercial progress.
Cultural — Although it is a growing municipality, Chengdu has rural areas that exude harmony and serenity. This city has a dual identity, establishing a balance between man and nature.
Chengdu is also renowned for its flavorful and spicy cuisine that makes Sichuan the most delicious province in China. Sichuan cuisine is delicacy that many countries should know about. For instance, Ollie’s, a restaurant in New York City, serves Sichuan cuisine that introduces Americans to authentic Chinese cuisine.
Financial — Technology is the fastest growing field in Chengdu. Some of Apple’s and Google’s popular apps are created by firms in Chengdu. The Camera 360, created by Pinguo Technology, is another accomplishment that brings prominence to Chengdu. It was one of the best products of 2011 by PC World. Technology moguls such as Cisco, IBM and Intel are located in Chengdu’s Tianfu Software Park.
Guangzhou is one of the largest cities in China, with a population of 14 million. It is a nucleus for engineering and the auto industry.
Cultural —Guangzhou prides itself on the Cantonese language, which is spoken by many inhabitants. In 2010, demonstrations arose because Guangzhou’s main television company planned to broadcast television shows in Mandarin. The people abhorred the elimination of Cantonese and united to protect their first language. This shows great dedication and value toward their origins.
Financial — Guangzhou is a hotspot for foreign trade thanks to its location in the Pearl River Delta. A primary base for auto manufacturers like Honda and Toyota, Guangzhou earns considerable capital. It also hosts the Canton Fair where many enterprises showcase their inventions. This signals an economic boom and heavy urbanization in Guangzhou.
Thanks to its growing industry, Guangzhou offers many employment opportunities. “Its fastest-growing economy and great employment opportunities make Guangzhou a magnet for rural migrant workers,” said the CRIENGLISH website. “So far, the number of migrant workers in Guangzhou exceeds five million, accounting for 40 percent of the city’s total population.”
Hangzhou is the capital and largest city of the Zhejiang Province. This city specializes in multiple industries: agriculture, textiles, and the light industry. Thus, Hangzhou is an economic and commercial bomb waiting to explode.
Cultural — Hangzhou is admired for its beautiful scenes of nature. It shows a great appreciation for nature and the environment through certain attractions and landmarks: West Lake, Xixi National Wetland Park and the Hu Yueyan Residence. Thus, Hangzhou values a harmonious balance with nature.
Financial — Hangzhou thrives on multiple industries which attracts people from other regions. Since it is an evolving city, Hangzhou will reach a new plateau. Its natural and rural areas are suitable for farming and agriculture. Since the city is emerging, the textile and light industries are still of tremendous value because they paves the way for more technological advancements in Hangzhou. In addition to its industrial accomplishments, there is a developing infrastructure system that satisfies the inhabitants’ demands which indicates an abundance of material and natural resources.
With its development as an economic and industrial powerhouse, Hangzhou is sure to attract more tourists and join the ranks of other global cities.