China to reach 50 percent urbanization in 5 years

14:34, March 30, 2010      

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China's rapid urbanization will continue for 15 to 20 years and China will become an urban society in five to six years, with the urbanization rate reaching or exceeding 50 percent, the Chinese government stated on March 29.

Li Shouxin, director of the Development Planning Department under the National Development and Reform Commission, disclosed on March 29 that China's urban population had reached 622 million by the end of 2009, with the urbanization rate standing at nearly 47 percent.

At present, China's urbanization rate is close to the average urbanization rate of middle-income countries. China's urbanization rate grew by almost 1 percent annually over the past five years. Currently, an urban system combining big cities, small and medium-sized cities and towns has taken shape in China.

Zhang Qin, deputy director of the Urban-Rural Planning Department under the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), said the rapid urbanization of China will continue for 15 to 20 years and China will become an urban society during the "12th Five-Year Plan" period (between 2011 and 2015 ).

Officials from the MOHURD pointed out that today and for a long time to come, China's urbanization will be at a crucial stage during which China will face both opportunities and challenges. After the international financial crisis ends, China needs to rethink its urbanization mode which is based on an export-oriented economy. It must further increase its urbanization rate by relying on domestic demand and actively taking advantage of exports, officials said.

With reforms taking shape in the household registration and social security systems and the continual increase of the living standards of the general public, China needs to further perfect the functions of its cities in order to increase their capacity to deal with growing populations.

By People's Daily Online
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