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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2013> News
UPDATED: March 7, 2013
China to Issue Urbanization Layout in 2013: Chief Economic Planner

China is likely to roll out a layout this year to guide the country's urbanization drive to advance in an "orderly and healthy" way, a senior economic official said Wednesday.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planner, is coordinating related authorities to compile the layout, which is likely to be issued in the first half of this year, said Zhang Ping, head of NDRC, at a press conference.

Zhang said urbanization offers the largest potential for China to expand domestic demand, which is vital to sustainable growth of the world's second largest economy.

"This potential, together with other opportunities brought by further reforms, will play an important role in China's durable and healthy economic development," Zhang said.

He said China needs better planning to improve the quality of urbanization, particularly to address problems such as inadequate services provided to new urban dwellers from rural areas, backward infrastructure and imbalanced distribution of resources between megacities and small and medium-sized cities.

Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday that the Chinese Government should carry out urbanization "actively yet prudently."

"Urbanization is a historical task in China's modernization drive," Wen said while delivering the Government Work Report at the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

Wen said the government should promote the sound development of urbanization by making plans scientifically, balancing geographical distribution, coordinating urban and rural development, using land economically and tailoring measures to local conditions.

China's urbanization rate rose by 1.3 percentage points to 52.57 percent last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Zhang said this means China's urban-rural structure has changed "historically," with more than half of its population dwelling in cities.

(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2013)

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