China’s unbalanced growth strategy has seemingly fostered growing inter-regional growth disparities and there is little evidence of wealth trickling down from richer provinces to poorer provinces. Given pronounced and frequent inter-regional short-term fluctuations in economic growth, standard convergence tests, however, may be ill specified to detect underlying long-term growth trends in small samples. Our paper suggests a novel approach to distinguish between long-term growth trends and short-term fluctuations. Based on provincial data from 1978 to 2009, our results indicate that China’s provinces only diverge over the short-term. Over the long term, provinces cluster into two converging growth clubs.