Blue Book of Competitiveness: Annual Report on China’s Urban Competitiveness (No. 13)
Sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Annual Report on China’s Urban Competitiveness has been published annually since 2003, which ranks China’s 294 prefecture-level cities in order of their overall competitiveness. It analyzes the overall position of Chinese cities from a global perspective, taking into consideration their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, and proposes the strategies for Chinese cities to deal with global competitions, aiming at providing enlightenments and references for relevant provinces and specific cities to analyze their own competitiveness and to formulate strategies for enhancing their competitiveness.

The Annual Report on China’s Urban Competitiveness (No. 13) follows the theoretical framework and policy implications of previous reports, with a focus on the breakthroughs in calculation methods and indicator analysis. It clearly identifies three components of urban competitiveness, i.e., the output, current, and short-term competitiveness of comprehensive economy; the procedural and input-to-output competitiveness of livability and business-friendliness; and the input, durable, and long-term competitiveness of sustainability. In line with the indicator system designed on the basis of the above theoretical framework, it conducts an overall analysis and a detailed description on the competitiveness of comprehensive economy of 294 cities and that of sustainability of 289 cities in China. In contrast to the previous reports, it does not make as usual an overall analysis on the six components of the competitiveness of livability, business-friendliness, sustainability, and so on, but focuses on a representative indicator of each aspect to glimpse the whole picture. In addition, it uses the methodology of PCA (principal component analysis) to calculate city rankings.

On the basis of a long-term study, it suggests that the spatial pattern of China’s economic activities and urban system should be readjusted in the context that the traditional economic development spatial pattern of four major zones is challenged by the excessive concentration in the east, over-dispersion in the west, and continuous decline in the northeast. With the theme of Giant Hands: Hold up the New Territory of Urban China, it demonstrates the deepening integration of eastern and central China from the perspective of market, industry, production factors, and traffic, and suggests that China’s economic zoning should be transformed from the four zones of “East, Center, West, and Northeast” to the two zones of autonomous development (eastern and central China) and policy support (western and northeastern China), and proposes the “one group and five belts” concept for the new pattern of China’s urban system. 

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