Ex-US Trea­sury chief says ur­ban­iza­tion threat­ened

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWSCAPSULE -

Henry Paulson, for­mer US Trea­sury sec­re­tary un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, said that the global econ­omy and en­vi­ron­ment de­pend on the suc­cess of China’s ur­ban­iza­tion pro­gram, which he said is threat­ened by the coun­try’s stressed fi­nan­cial sys­tem and “in­ef­fi­cient” build­ing sprees.

China’s growth in the next two decades de­pends on “how it ur­ban­izes sus­tain­ably” so that the coun­try can tran­si­tion from growth built off the backs of ex­ports and cap­i­tal-in­ten­sive in­vest­ments to one that is en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly and “people-cen­tered,” wrote Paulson in a piece for the web­site of CNN’s “Money’’ sec­tion that was pub­lished Mon­day.

China needs to “ur­ban­ize strate­gi­cally and sus­tain­ably, not just rapidly,” he wrote. “Sim­ply pack­ing more people into cities and build­ing in­fra­struc­ture will not au­to­mat­i­cally raise liv­ing stan­dards for the next 300 mil­lion and will only worsen pol­lu­tion, con­ges­tion, and in­ef­fi­ciency.”

In­ter­con­nected prob­lems such as job cre­ation and a nor­mal­ized la­bor mar­ket with le­gal mi­grants need to be solved be­cause the ex­ist­ing growth model has “frayed,” he said.

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