Night view of Lujiazui area in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)
China aims to build several metropolitan areas with global influence by 2035, according to the country's top economic planner.
Notable progress should be made by 2022 with improvement in infrastructure integration, freer markets, more coordinated industries and more livable environments, according to the guidelines released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Metropolitan areas are regions in city clusters which circle around a big city and are within an hour commute. China plans to build 19 city clusters by 2020.
Support will be given to develop sectors like industrial design, cultural and creative products, and financial services to establish an industrial mix with modern services as the main pillar.
Developing metropolitan areas will help optimize demographics and economic structures and stimulate effective investment and potential consumption demands, lending steam to economic expansion, the NDRC said.