Chinese Premier stresses balanced urban-rural development

17:58, October 29, 2010      

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China should work to balance the development between its urban and rural regions while pushing forward urbanization, Premier Wen Jiabao said.

Wen made the remarks in his explanation of the Communist Party of China Central Committee's Proposal for Formulating the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015) for China's Economic and Social Development, which was adopted at the Fifth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee that ended Oct.18.

Wen delivered the explanation on Oct. 15 when the CPC Central Committee session began.

Issues concerning agriculture, farmers and rural areas should be one of the most important works for the CPC in the next five years, Wen said.

"For a developing country with 1.3 billion population, feeding itself is always a top priority," he said, adding that recent disasters and fluctuating farm prices had revealed China's weakness in agriculture. He said its food security remains unsecured.

Wen stressed that the existing dual economic structure of cities and the countryside is the "biggest structural problem" in China's economic and social development, and narrowing the urban-rural development gap is the most difficult task and also the key to the construction of a well-off society and modernization.

Further, the development of rural regions should be promoted by boosting rural modernization, strengthening public services and infrastructure construction, increasing farmers' incomes and improving the rural development mechanism, he said.

Wen also underscored coordinated development between regions and said more attention should be given to planning in the process of urbanization.

"Urbanization is an inevitable trend and also a strong boost to China's economic and social development...Problems in the urbanization process should be tackled with great efforts," Wen said, while pointing out a number of issues, including excessive population growth and poor traffic management.

China should take gradual steps to transfer rural populations to urban residents and protect the rights of migrant workers by improving regulations, he said.

Wen called for the establishment of a housing system that is in accordance with China's situation, that more efforts should be made to build affordable housing and to provide more homes for mid- and low-income families.

Also, China would continue to curb speculative demand in the property market to promote the steady and healthy development of the real estate sector, he added.



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