Urbanization to continue at rapid pace

10:17, August 09, 2010      

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China will continue its policy of rapid urbanization for "some time yet," as it is crucial for economic restructuring as well as stable and relatively fast economic growth, a government official said Saturday.

Peng Sen, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, made the remarks at a conference in Haikou, capital of the southern Hainan Province, adding that 46.6 percent of China's population lived in urban areas by 2009.

The rate is far below that of developed nations and some developing countries with similar development levels to China, Peng said.

Accelerating urbanization was a "significant strategic step" to speed up economic restructuring, maintain long-term stability and fast economic development, build new urban-rural relationships and promote social harmony, he said.

The urban population is expected to grow by 10 million annually during the five years to 2015, which is expected to spur over 100 billion yuan ($14.77 billion) of consumption each year, he added.

The ChineseAcademy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank, predicted in July that China's urbanization rate would hit 52 percent in 2015 and grow to 65 percent in 2030.

Peng also said the country should remove the urban-rural dual system which has become an institutional barrier, holding China back from coordinating development between urban and rural areas, and narrowing urban-rural gap.

Source: Global Times


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