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China plans investment and reform to ease urbanisation drive

Published on Mar 17, 2014 1:13 AM

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China is planning a major expansion of its transport networks and urban infrastructure as it seeks to increase migration from rural to urban areas, lifting incomes and demand to drive continued economic growth.

The 2014 to 2020 urbanisation plan released on Sunday aims to boost domestic consumption by increasing the proportion of urban residents among China's population of almost 1.4 billion to 60 per cent by 2020, up from 53.7 per cent now.

Among the biggest obstacles to the planned relocation of several hundred million rural residents is the huge infrastructure development needed to accommodate the new wave of city dwellers as well as reform of the country's "hukou" registration system.

This complex system of residency registration is a major sticking point because it controls the benefits that residents can enjoy. The system denies basic services to those who relocate without permission, fanning social unrest.

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