New urbanization plan points out right direction

Updated: 2014-03-19 21:40

By Li Yang (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The six-year national urbanization plan recently revealed by the central government points out a clear path for China's urbanization, says an article of China Business News. Excerpts:

Granting the rural population urban resident welfare treatments is more important than infrastructure construction, which is considered the fastest way to boost economic growth by many local governments.

The 2014-2020 national plan obviously draws lessons from past problems and is the most detailed deployment on urbanization made by the central government.

The past 30 years, which featured fast economic growth, has witnessed fast urbanization as well. In 1978, 17.9 percent of the Chinese population lived in urban areas. In 2013, the ratio climbed to 53.7 percent. But nearly one-third of today's urban population are migrant workers, who do not have urban residence permits, and thus don't benefit from urban resident welfare.

The new plan attaches importance to matching city development with local resource and environment capacities. And the rural population's transformation to urban residents should be carried out step by step.

Urbanization is, by its nature, a process of solving problems that may arise during development.

Keeping a balance between environment and development, making a better use of limited land, improving government's public service ability and protecting historical and cultural heritages are top on the to-do list in future urbanization.

To implement the plan, the central government should revise its performance evaluation system for local government officials to divert their attention from blindly pursuing economic growth to more sustainable development and respect for people’s needs.