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100 million Chinese to get greater city benefits

Published on Mar 17, 2014 3:21 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - More than 100 million Chinese are to be given vital documents making them officially residents of the country's cities under a broad urbanisation plan that is crucial for economic growth.

China's new leaders under President Xi Jinping who took office a year ago have touted "people-centred urbanisation" to raise the quality of life as well as just growth rates.

The "national plan for a new model of urbanisation" unveiled on Sunday calls for measurable improvements such as extended social benefits, improved air quality - an issue that causes widespread public anger - and expanded public transport.

It aims for 60 percent of China's 1.36 billion people to live in cities by 2020 and for 45 percent to have the vital urban residency registration, or "hukou", that gives them equal access to social benefits such as education and health care.

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