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Chinese vice premier urges tapping domestic demand via coordinated development

(Xinhua)

08:32, September 20, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called on local authorities and ministers to further the nation's industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization in a coordinated way in order to boost domestic demand.

Promoting the stable development of urbanization is a long-term strategy and particularly important at present, given that the country's economic growth faces downward pressure, Li said while meeting with government officials in Beijing.

He predicted that more than 10 million Chinese will migrate to cities annually during the next two to three decades, which will inevitably bring about increased investment in public services and infrastructure building, and with it, rising consumption as incomes increase.

More than half of the Chinese population, or 691 million people, are living in cities, representing an urbanization rate of 51.27 percent. However, Li said only about 35 percent of Chinese are registered urban residents, far lower than the 80-percent rate in developed nations.

Li said the gap could result in great growth potential. He said that urbanization is the source of stable and fast economic development in the long run.

He urged local authorities to solve urbanization problems, such as those regarding employment, social security and migrants who move to cities from rural regions. He warned that the bad handling of these issues could impede urban and industrial development.

Li also called for fostering newly emerging industries and upgrading traditional industries, with priority to be given to the service sector.

He said support will be provided to rural areas, as stable development in rural regions serves as a foundation for urban prosperity.

Li said more efforts should be made to balance the development of large cities and small townships, as well as boost urbanization in west China.

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