Is the battle between Jinan and Qingdao for national central cities settled?

  On September 25, an ordinary press conference of the Shandong Provincial Information Office caused heated discussions in Qilu, and it has continued to this day.

At this meeting, the statement about the national central city was changed from the previous statement supporting Jinan and Qingdao at the same time, and changed to "support Jinan's construction of a national central city and Qingdao's construction of a global ocean central city".

This new argument is regarded by the public as the provincial level no longer supporting Qingdao, and instead supporting Jinan's creation of a national central city. The three-year-old dispute between Jinan and Qinghai seems to have settled.

Shandong needs a national central city

  The main reason why Shandong needs a national central city is the very severe reality-population exodus.

  According to data from the Zhongtai Securities Research Institute, Shandong's net population outflow in 2018 was about 200,000, second only to Beijing's 220,000, ranking second in the country's net population outflow.

But the net outflow of Beijing population has its own special reasons.

This also means that from a market perspective, Shandong’s population outflow is the most serious in the country.

  At the same time, Guangdong and Zhejiang, which are also the eastern coastal areas, have a net inflow. Among them, Guangdong has a net inflow of more than 800,000 in 2018, Zhejiang has nearly 300,000, and Anhui in the central region also has nearly 300,000 people.

  51job's "2018 Candidate Resume Data Report" released in January 2019 also confirms this point.

The report shows that in the ranking of the turnover rate of local talents (undergraduate and above) in 2018, Shandong's turnover rate was 28.8%, ranking 9th.

Although the ranking is not high, the top 8 provinces are Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hebei, Anhui, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, and Hubei, all of which are non-eastern provinces.

This also shows that among the eastern coastal provinces, Shandong is the least attractive to local talents.

  It is worth mentioning that in provinces with a net influx of population, the regions attracting population are also concentrated in large cities.

  For example, in 2019, Zhejiang had a net inflow of 841,000 and Guangdong had a net inflow of 826,000. The two provinces attracted more than 70% of the net inflow of the population.

Specifically in Zhejiang, the net population migration is basically concentrated in Hangzhou and Ningbo, while Guangdong is concentrated in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Foshan. In addition, these three regions also attract a lot of people from other parts of Guangdong Province.

  The above data can basically confirm the importance of large cities in stabilizing the population of the province and attracting migrants.

  In the past decade or so, Shandong has implemented a "balanced strategy". The three leading cities of Jinan, Qingdao, and Yantai have gone hand in hand. Other cities have followed closely, so that 17 cities in Shandong have appeared in the top 100 cities for many years. A phenomenon that has entered the top 100.

Jinan has also become the first provincial capital city with the lowest GDP, accounting for less than 10% of its GDP. The provincial GDP ranked third for more than ten consecutive years.

  However, in the era of large cities, high-end industries and high-end talents place higher demands on cities.

The balanced development strategy is clearly outdated.

  From a national perspective, the new first-tier star cities such as Chengdu, Wuhan, and Xi'an are all the result of the strategy of concentrating the power of one province to develop large cities, and the above cities have also been selected as national central cities.

The situation is forcing a city in Shandong ALL IN to build a real leader to face the future inter-provincial competition, and creating a national central city is the best opportunity.

Jinan or Qingdao?

  After determining the construction of a national central city, another question followed: Jinan or Qingdao?

  Shandong has struggled with this issue for at least three years.

  In February 2017, the "Shandong Peninsula Urban Agglomeration Development Plan (2016-2030)" was released. The document clearly pointed out that "support Jinan and Qingdao in building national central cities".

  A year later, things changed.

On January 25, 2018, at the two sessions of Shandong Province, when Gong Zheng, the then governor of Shandong Province, made a government work report, he proposed “support Qingdao to build a national central city”. Jinan’s expression was “increasing the primacy of the provincial capital city” and no longer Mention the national central city.

  Next, on February 23 of that year, the "Implementation Plan for the Conversion of New and Old Kinetic Energy in Shandong Province" was issued and implemented, which also continued the caliber of the two sessions. The statement on Qingdao was "enhancing the leading position of the province's economic development and striving to become a national central city." , Jinan is to "improve the primacy of the provincial capital city, and build a modern provincial capital city that is'big, strong, beautiful, rich, and accessible'."

  Go to Qingdao and go to Jinan.

No one knows the basis of Shandong Province's decision.

  By the two sessions of Shandong Province in February 2019, the provincial government work report made no mention of national central cities.

  However, in the previous two meetings of Jinan City held on January 27, Jinan Mayor Sun Shutao stated intriguingly in his report on the work of the Jinan government: "It will lay a solid foundation for accelerating the entry into the'trillion club' and building a national central city. "Foundation"-did not directly mention the need to build a national central city, but leave room for it-to lay a solid foundation.

  On January 18 this year, during the two sessions of Shandong Province, the dispute between Jinan and Qing revived. The government work report proposed "supporting Jinan and Qingdao in building national central cities."

It is worth noting that this is the first time that Jinan and Qingdao have won inter-provincial support for the construction of national central cities and appeared in the provincial government work report.

  In June of this year, Shandong Province issued the "Implementation Plan for Implementing the Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Establishing a New Mechanism for More Effective Regional Coordination and Development". The "Implementation Plan" proposed to build a regional development pattern of "a group of two hearts and three circles" .

"A group" means to build a city cluster on the Shandong Peninsula with global influence; "two hearts" means to support the construction of Jinan and Qingdao into national central cities.

  Until September 25 this year, at a press conference, Sun Laibin, deputy director of the Provincial Development and Reform Commission, said: "Support Jinan's construction of a national central city and Qingdao's construction of a global marine central city." This expression once again sparked heated debate, and public opinion generally believed that Jinan would become a central city. The only city supported by the province, Qingdao is nowhere near the national central city.

  Next, in the "Study Times" published on October 19, Shandong Governor Li Ganjie published an article "Serving the National Strategy and Striving to Be the Forefront" once again reinforced the September statement: Support Jinan to build a national central city and Qingdao to build a global ocean central city.

Where are the opportunities in Jinan?

  At present, in the list of cities in the media regarding the creation of national central cities, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Changsha, Xiamen, Shenyang, Nanchang and other cities are among them. Facing a series of strong opponents, where are the opportunities for Jinan?

  Jinan local media summarized three advantages.

First, in terms of economic and population distribution, Shandong is the third economic province and the second most populous province, but there is no national central city.

Jinan has become a national central city, which can lead both the Shandong Peninsula city group and the lower Yellow River city group.

  Second, Jinan is located in the middle zone of the two national strategies of coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.

Jinan has become a national central city, which can fill the strategic gap between Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the Yangtze River Delta without a national central city.

  Third, Jinan shoulders the three national strategies of conversion of new and old kinetic energy, pilot free trade zone, ecological protection of the Yellow River Basin, and high-quality development, which will become an important weight to compete for the national central city.

  But objectively speaking, the above conditions cannot occupy an absolute advantage in comparison with opponents.

What's more, with the changes in national and provincial policies, whether there will be a middle school in Shandong, and whether the dispute between Jinan and Qinghai has been concluded, everything has not yet been determined.

  "China Economic Weekly" reporter Yang Baihui|Report from Beijing