Ever since last year, “Hangzhou – whether it can be listed as one of national central cities” has become the talk of the town. This was first mentioned at the annual local People's Congress Conference this year, by one of the deputies. At the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress on March 6, one of the Chinese communist party members, Zhang Hongming, vice chairperson of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, former mayor of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, has made mention of “Hangzhou should be one of the national central cities”.
What is National Central City?
“National Central City” is a concept proposed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (former Ministry of Housing), the ministry issued the "National Urban System Plan" according to the law in urban planning.
National central cities are described as “core cities” in the national urban system, mentioned in ”Urban system planning (2006-2020)” by former Ministry of Housing when reported to the State council in 2007. The National Central Cities shall be central and pivotal cities in charge of leading and performing tasks in economic, management, cultural and transportation aspects, they are supposed to play a very important role in promoting the development of international economic and cultural exchange.
“The G20 Summit was successfully held in Hangzhou, this has greatly increased Hangzhou’s visibility and reputation, and a lot of other positive effects have also been found nonstop” Zhang Hongming said, Hangzhou has rapidly changed before and after G20: the city has become more beautiful, economy has been growing, governors and citizens have been given renewed vitality, and the goal of building Hangzhou into a “national central city” has become clearer.
1. Hangzhou is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in China
Hangzhou’s economy had an appreciable growth last year. Its GDPs exceeded 1105.049 billion RMB in 2016 and increased 9.5 percent year-on-year, leading other large sub-provincial cities in China. Its local fiscal reserves are higher than Guangzhou, retaining a second position among the sub-provincial cities.
West Lake, 5A scenic area in Hangzhou, has been free to the public more than a decade ago, making it the very first free tourist attraction place in China.
2. “Paradise Silicon Valley” of China
With a strong innovation and entrepreneurship atmosphere, Hangzhou has become renowned as the “Paradise Silicon Valley” of China. Hangzhou is China's first comprehensive experimental test point for cross-border e-commerce and ranked first among China's top cities in terms of the number of websites, the market size of B2B, B2C, C2C, and China's third-party payment. It’s committed to becoming an “International e-commerce center”.
Hangzhou’s strength in science, technology, and innovation has been in the forefront among other national provincial cities, and it has the largest number of TOP500 national private enterprises and has the most innovations and patents.
Hangzhou has a big number of large enterprises (1,000 or more employees), and the number of them is more than double the national average level, which was equivalent to the level of developed countries. Hangzhou has been granted as one of the “most attractive cities in the eyes of foreign talents” for the past 6 years, and has been ranked number four in the list of “China's Best Cities for Business”
Hangzhou boasts world’s most developed credit lending and borrowing network, making it the largest mobile payments market in the world. Instead of bringing cash, using a mobile phone allows you to get a taxi, shop and so on. So Hangzhou makes a great destination for a business trip.
3. Hangzhou is a national comprehensive transportation hub city
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has been the 10th busiest airport by traffic movements. With 36 international flights, Xiaoshan airport is the country’s second largest airport in Eastern China, making it the fourth largest airport nationwide and one of the busiest in the world.
Hangzhou has the largest “bicycle-sharing” system and is the city offering the best public bicycle service in the world.
Hangzhou is also one of few Chinese cities where motorists actually yield to pedestrians crossing the street.
Spring is here and so is the 2017 “Intoxicating Springtime” – Hangzhou Outdoor Leisure Season which, in the following three months, will provide the city with over 50 springtime outdoor experiences and tour itineraries. With six themes to choose from such as child-parent, flower viewing, games and sports, spring couldn’t be livelier.
The annual time for picking Longjing green tea leaves, one of the top ten renowned teas of China, has begun in Hangzhou and everywhere tea farmers are now busy picking and hand frying the famous leaves. If you wanted to take a sneak peek at how the farmers meticulously pick their verdant leaves from bushes nestled in undulating hills, or if you wanted to sample, at first hand, this year’s Longjing variety, then head to the following three tea villages which are known for their tea, tea culture and tea-related tourist attractions.