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Over half of Chinese now urbanites, with or without "hukou"


18:43, July 05, 2013

BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- China's urbanization rate had reached 52.57 percent by the end of 2012 but about 200 million new urbanites are without urban permanent resident permits, according to the 2012 City Development Report of China released Friday.

Although the number of Chinese urbanites has surpassed the number of rural residents, there is still a long way to go for China to become a truly city-based nation due to the current registered permanent residence, or the "hukou" system, said the report.

"The majority of migrant workers and farmers-turned-city dwellers have no city hukous and find it hard to blend into urban life," said Tsinghua University professor Mao Qizhi, executive deputy editor-in-chief of the report.

A Chinese living in cities or towns with city hukou can enjoy much more benefits in education, medical service and social security than those without.

The report noted that China should improve the quality of urbanization to achieve human-oriented urbanization with shared prosperity.

"Urbanization is not simply a rise in the urban population, but the transformation of infrastructure, employment, living environments and social security," said Jiang Zhenghua,executive head of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences.

The report was created by the China Association of Mayors and has been released annually since 2001.

China has a total of 658 cities and 19,881 towns across the country as of 2012, according to the report.

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