This paper explores the development strategies of Chinese provinces by synthesizing the dimensions of a competitiveness index and the Data Envelopment Analysis model. After documenting the close relationship between real GDP per capita and competitiveness, we introduce a production approach to study competitiveness and develop various possible strategies facing a province. In particular, while coastal provinces should consider innovating new technologies and institutions to improve competitiveness, western provinces may adopt a proportional development strategy that simultaneously enhances every aspect of its competitiveness. Further, the proportional development strategy for competitiveness is found to reduce regional disparity. The policy implications from our framework could not have been achieved had the analysis been solely based on the conventional methods of studying the competitiveness index.