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China Sets Targets for Urbanization

Xinhua, 8 August 2001

BEIJING, August 7 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government made public Tuesday a plan to boost the country's urbanization process in the next five years.

Drafted by the State Development Planning Commission, the tasks set by the plan include developing urban economies, enhancing urban functions, improving environments and strengthening management of China's cities and towns.

By 2005, some 92 percent of urban families will use natural gas as fuel, 35 percent of urban areas will be covered with green vegetation, 45 percent of urban sewage will be processed and 70 big and medium-sized cities will meet the intermediate level environmental standard, which equals the standard that is applicable in Europe at present.

To facilitate the process, a registered residence system will be reformed, the labor market will be cultivated and the land usage system will be perfected, according to the plan.

Statistics show that the numbers of cities and towns increased respectively from 193 and 2,173 in 1978 to 663 and 20,312 in 2000. Meanwhile, the country's urban population increased from 170 million to 456 million.