Originally Posted by R@ptor
The Yangtse River Delta and the Pearl River Delta will be China's two major business centers for the foreseeable future. Plus Nanjing, Xi'an and Chengdu will probably be good for some surprises. Chongqing is too far inland to be ever the No.1. It doesn't even have an Intl' Airport.
Xi'an and Chengdu haven't any chance to become a first tier city. Shenyang is becoming a major economic center as the financial, industrial (and skyscraper
) hub of North East China. Same for Wuhan about Mid-West region, but they both lag far behind Chongqing. Chongqing is booming like crazy, only Tianjin is registering a similar growth.
On the other hand, Hangzhou and Suzhou tend to be largely underrated due to its little population in comparison with main cities. Suzhou's GDP is surpassing Shenzhen's by 2008, becoming China's fourth city by GDP only after Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. In fact, Suzhou is China's fastest-growing big city, above 17%. However, since Suzhou isn't too large, it will be surpassed again in a long term.
My ranking today would be
Mid-term (say 2010-2015)
Anyway, it is too difficult making this kind of forecasts. Who knows, maybe in some years the central government decides that is it a good idea boosting say Qingdao to become a global city and it starts growing like crazy to become another Shenzhen. The gov has a lot of power to make this. Now they are giving CQ, SY and TJ full priority as it happened to Shanghai and Shenzhen in the past. However, the coastal cities are quite developed, they will boost inner cities in the coming decades, that's why I think that Chongqing, Wuhan and Shenyang will emerge as new monsters.