Chi­nese Ur­ban­iza­tion En­ters a New Phase

a New Phase

China Today (English) - - CONTENTS - By PENG SHUYI

SINCE adopt­ing its re­form and open­ing- up pol­icy in the late 1970s, China has wit­nessed rap id eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, as well as large- scale ur­ban con­struc­tion. Over the last decade in par­tic­u­lar, the coun­try has un­der­gone one of the largest- scale and swiftest ur­ban­iza­tion pro­cesses in the world, with av­er­age an­nual growth ex­ceed­ing 1.3 per­cent. The ur­ban­iza­tion rate has kept es­ca­lat­ing, from less than 20 per­cent be­fore re­form and open­ing-up, to 52.6 per­cent in 2012, and fur­ther to 56.1 per­cent in 2015. Rapid ur­ban­iza­tion has changed the face of this tra­di­tion­ally agri­cul­tural coun­try.

How­ever, the “rash ad­vance” of ur­ban­iza­tion has wrought such side ef­fects as poor ur­ban plan­ning, with the ef­face­ment of lo­cal fea­tures and lag­ging pub­lic ser­vices. Over the last sev­eral years, the Chi­nese govern­ment has raised aware­ness of such prob­lems, and proposed a new pol­icy pack­age on ur­ban con­struc­tion. The new plan puts peo­ple first, and aims to bet­ter pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and de­velop a sus­tain­able econ­omy, which is of vi­tal im­por­tance to the coun­try’s eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing.

Teething Prob­lems

Looking back on Europe’s ur­ban­iza­tion in its early stages, yearly growth rates re­mained merely 0.16 to 0.24 per­cent on av­er­age. The time span be­fore the ur­ban­iza­tion rate in­creased from 20 to 40 per­cent ranged from decades to 100 years, and it took fur­ther decades for the rate to rise from 40 to 80 per­cent. As a de­vel­op­ing coun­try, China made a late start in mod­ern­iza­tion and also lacked ur­ban­iza­tion ex­pe­ri­ence. Its rel­a­tively

Proac­tively fa­cil­i­tat­ing those who have left agri­cul­tural work to be­come ur­ban res­i­dents. Com­pre­hen­sively en­hanc­ing ur­ban func­tions.

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