China will actively and steadily push forward urbanization next year, with a focus on improving quality of the efforts, according to a statement issued Sunday after a two-day central economic work conference in Beijing.
Urbanization is a historic task with the country’s modernization drive, and a main driver to boost domestic consumption, according to the conference, which charts the course for the following year’s economic work.
The country has been trying to wean off its reliance on exports for growth, as economic recoveries of its main trade partners like the European Union and the United States have been slow.
China’s urban population, which outnumbered that of rural areas for the first time at the end of last year, is expected to account for 70 percent of the total population by 2030, according to the World Bank’s forecast.
An increase of a single percentage point indicates an addition of more than 10 million urban residents, each of whom will spur at least 100,000 yuan (15,892 U.S. dollars) in infrastructure investment, according to previous estimates by experts.
The statement said the country will center its efforts on improving the quality of urbanization, while using favorable conditions to actively guide the healthy development of the process.
The country will work to build cities with more rational layouts, making them more fit for regional and industrial layouts, as well as resources and environment conditions, the statement said.
More migrant workers from rural areas will become urban dwellers, it said.
The country will incorporate the concept of ecological civilization in its urbanization process in a bid to build intelligent, green and low-carbon cities, according to the statement.
To boost domestic consumption and improve people’s well-being, the statement also vowed to reinforce the country’s urban and rural social security networks.
Attention will also be given to stabilizing and expanding employment, especially creating jobs for college graduates, it said.
Official data showed China created 10.24 million new jobs in urban areas in the first nine months of the year, exceeding the annual target of 9 million for this year.