In this paper, a comprehensive research of the evolution of the hierarchical structure and spatial pattern of coastal cities in China was conducted based on the data of distribution of the headquarters and subsidiaries of marine-related enterprises in 1995, 2005 and 2015 using the city network research method proposed by Taylor. The results of the empirical research showed: China’s coastal city network had an obvious hierarchical characteristics of “national coastal cityregional coastal city-sub-regional coastal city-local coastal city”, in the 20 years of development process, the hierarchies of coastal cities in China showed a hierarchical progressive evolution; in past 20 years, the spatial pattern and network structure of coastal cities in China tended to be complete, and the city network was more uniform, forming a “three tiers and three urban agglomerations” network structure; the strength of connection among the cities was obviously strengthened, and the efficiency of urban spatial connection was improved overall.
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