The best places to live on the mainland depends on the category, and last year a team from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences compiled a report on recent research and surveys.
The 'Blue Book of Urban Competitiveness' showed that 'second-tier' cities occupied the list of 10 best cities in three categories: fastest economic growth, living standards and investment environment.
Of the 10 fastest-growing Chinese cities last year, eight are either in Inner Mongolia , Liaoning or Jilin .
The two others are Heyuan and Qingyuan, both in Guangdong.
The five cities rated for best living environment were Qingdao, Shandong; Suzhou and Taizhou in Jiangsu; Xiamen, Fujian; and Ningbo, Zhejiang .
On the list of the 10 best for investment were Dalian, Liaoning; Xuzhou, Jiangsu; Fuzhou, Fujian; and Ningbo.