(ECNS) -- Beijing leads China's National Core City list, followed by Shanghai and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, according to a newly-released research report.
The China Urbanization Progress Report by researchers from the Ministry of Education and Shanghai Jiaotong University evaluated eight national core cities using multiple factors to compile the rank. Chongqing, Tianjin, Wuhan, Chengdu and Zhengzhou followed the top three on the list.
The research used three first-level indicators, nine second-level indicators and 32 third-level indicators to compare the strengths of the eight cities.
Beijing ranked first in the categories of "comprehensive strengths" and "central roles", while Shanghai surpassed Beijing in "strategic influences." Guangzhou's economic growth took the first spot and its per capita of GDP was also the highest.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development proposed the concept of the National Core City in 2005 as a step in reforming urbanization. Cities on the list, located in different economic zones, are said to have great urbanizing impacts on surrounding cities.
Liu Shilin, the project's lead researcher at Shanghai Jiaotong University, said the concept enables Beijing and Shanghai to shoulder more important responsibilities in fields of economic growth, scientific and cultural innovation, transportation and ecological protection.
By 2015, the population of the eight core cities accounted for 10.1 percent of China's total, while GDP comprised 18.42 percent. The urbanization rate in the eight cities reached 77.97 percent, about 1.39 times higher than the national level.
Liu also suggested developing national central cities in the northwest and northeast to promote regional development. He warned that core cities should play a lead and drive growth in neighboring areas rather than competing with and siphoning resources from less-developed cities.