Policies, Practices and Positioning
Edited by Per Olof Berg and Emma Björner
Urbanisation in China has increased rapidly in recent decades. Where will this swift urbanisation lead China in the coming decades? In this chapter, we reflect on the course of China's urban development and assert the success of China's urbanisation since market reforms began 30 years ago. We also look at city branding as a perspective of Chinese cities' soft power, and focus on the mounting problems and questions that Chinese cities face at this point. On 16 December 2012, the Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing. At the conference, then President Xi Jinping sent a clear message, stating that that the most important thing in adjusting China's economic structure is to expand domestic demand, and the greatest potential for doing this lies in the urbanisation of China. In a manner of speaking, China's urbanisation will unleash this huge market demand, and it will become the core power of economic structural adjustment. This is in line with Stiglitz's note that China's urbanisation will be one of two major subjects that will have a profound impact on the development of mankind in the 21st century (The Task Group of China National Bureau of Statistics, 2002). However, the significance of China's rapid urbanisation is not just that it will affect China, but that it will determine the process of urbanisation globally (Qiu, 2003).
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