AbstractThe interactive relationship between urbanization and rural development is complex and exhibits spatial and temporal variation; in addition, this relationship is controversial and lacks extensive studies, especially in China. This study aims to investigate the bidirectional relationship between urbanization and rural sustainable development in Chinese cities since 2000 from a systematic perspective. Based on panel data for 298 cities from 2000–2013, panel cointegration and Granger causality tests will be applied to analyze the interaction relationship between different dimensions of urbanization [population urbanization (PU), economic urbanization (EU), and land urbanization (LU)] and different dimensions of rural sustainable development [rural production (RP), rural living (RL), and rural ecology (RE)] at national and regional levels. The empirical results suggest that most dimensions of urbanization and rural sustainable development in Chinese cities have had a positive bidirectional relationship since 2000. At the regional level, the effects of urbanization on rural sustainable development were larger in the central region than in the eastern and western regions, and the effects of rural sustainable development on urbanization were the opposite. These findings emphasize that although urbanization and rural development have been beneficial for each other in China since 2000, the positive effects of urbanization on rural sustainable development were greater for RP than for RL and RE, which requires new types of urbanization and rural revitalization strategies in the future.