Li Keqiang: China's Future Development Relies on Urbanization11-29 16:25 Caijing
China's premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang said Thursday the biggest development potential lies in the process of urbanization, in a country where about half of its people are still living in rural areas decades after the biggest urbanization wave in history started.
The vice premier made the comment at a meeting with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in Beijing on Wednesday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
China has already entered the middle-income stage of development, but the development is "unbalanced", especially when it comes to the widening gap between town and country, Mr. Li said.
Disparity means potential, in other words, China's biggest potential for development in the coming decades lies in the process of urbanization, he added.
China is willing to work together with the World Bank to build some "flagship projects" in urbanization, the vice premier said.
More than half of the Chinese population, or 691 million people, are living in cities, representing an urbanization rate of 51.27 percent, according to a green paper on China's small and medium-sized cities in 2012 released in September.
A UN report, titled Urban and Rural Areas 2011, predicted that nearly 70 percent of the population will live in urban areas by 2035. Over the next two decades China will build 20,000 to 50,000 new skyscrapers and more than 170 cities will require mass transit systems by 2025.
"The modernization of 1.3 billion people and the urbanization of nearly 1 billion have never been seen in history," Mr. Li said, "If China succeeds in the path, it will not benefit to the Chinese people, but is also our contribution to the world."
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