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China announces principles of urbanisation plans to migrate millions of Chinese

Published on Dec 15, 2013 12:46 AM

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China has added details to its plans to migrate millions of its citizens from the countryside into cities, state media reported on Saturday, to help restructure the economy by boosting consumer demand.

The government hopes 60 per cent of China's population of almost 1.4 billion will be urban residents by 2020 as the country's new leaders seek to sustain growth that last year slowed to a 13-year low of 7.8 per cent.

However, the leadership is struggling to balance multiple, occasionally conflicting goals such as encouraging the migration of millions of former farmers into cities without creating the slums and unemployment problems that have occurred in other countries experiencing similar migration.

Restrictions on migration, which have created a de-facto illegal immigrant population in many Chinese cities, composed of Chinese citizens who have migrated without permission, have proven a significant source of social instability and have highlighted the uneven distribution of the fruits of China's economic growth.

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