HED: Urbanize people, not the land

Updated: 2013-10-22 19:43


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Without new citizens, the urbanization of China is just the process of constructing new buildings, says an article in the Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, more than 70 percent of migrant workers living in cities for a long time are reluctant to discard their household registration in rural areas.

One reason is their attachment to their hometown. The second reason is the city government does not offer them citizenship or welfare benefits, despite how long they've been living in the city. Another reason is the land they own at home.

China's urbanization isn't as beneficial to migrant workers as they had expected. The governments pay more attention to the construction of new homes, rather than granting new citizen identities due to the lack of revenue.

On the other hand, migrant workers can see the value of their land as the government acquires farmers' land.

Urbanization should happen slowly as cities develop the ability to increase population and county-level towns have the industrial bases to hold new populations. The city government should have enough tax revenue to support more newcomers. The farmers should be paid fairly for their land.

Only when these issues are properly solved can the government ensure stable urbanization. Migrant workers and industry development are the core issues of urbanization, instead of land and buildings.