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UPDATED: 16:18, September 16, 2004
China's urban population to reach 800 to 900 million by 2020: expert
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The urbanization rate will reach 58 to 60 percent in China by 2020, and the urban population will hit 800 to 900 million accordingly, expert says.

"The small towns will accommodate 200 to 300 million, and the other 600 million will go to cities. To accommodate the 600 million people, 200 big cities, each holding over 300 million, or 300 cities each supporting 200 million are needed," predicts Lian Yuming, Director of the Beijing International Institute for City Development at the Beijing Summit of China City Forum.

The urbanization rate was 37.7 percent in 2002 and the figure grows by one percent annually, which means 80 to 90 million peasants will become urban residents every year.

The law of city development in the world indicates that urbanization process will start to accelerate in a country when its per capita GDP exceeds US$ 1, 000; as the per capita GDP exceeds US $ 3, 000, the development will rise rapidly. In 2003, China's per capita GDP had exceeded US$ 1, 000. In some big cities, the figure has hit US$ 3, 000, which indicates development of city has got on fast track.

By People's Daily Online

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