China has a total of 656 cities by the end of last year while the country's urban population rose to 594 million, according to the 2007 urban development report of China released in Beijing on Monday.
The annual report, conducted by China Association of Mayors, concluded that the number of Chinese cities was down to 656 from 661 in 2006 after Achen City of Harbin in Heilongjiang Province and Chongqing Municipality's cities of Jiangjin, Hechuan, Yongchuan and Nanchuan, were degraded from city-level to districts of bigger cities, China News Service reported on Monday.
Among the cities, 287 are above town-level while 369 are counties, the report said.
The country's urban population expanded to 594 million by the end of 2007 from 577 million a year ago, the report added.
Twenty-two cities have a population of more than two million and 33 cities have a population ranging from one million to two million, the report said.
(Shanghai Daily April 1, 2008)