China premier calls for "human focus" to urbanisation plan
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's premier, Li Keqiang, wants his plan to turn more Chinese into city dwellers to be "humanity-centred", focusing on quality of life and the environment and driven by job creation, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Sunday.
Mr Li, who took office this year, has an ambitious plan to boost China's urban population by 400 million over the next decade, a key plank in a reform effort to restructure the economy away from credit and export driven growth to one where consumers provide the main impetus.
But the plan faces huge obstacles, including a lack of infrastructure in cities to deal with an influx of new residents and the cost of building it, which has led to concern that a spending binge could push up already high local debt levels and inflate a property bubble.
The need to reform a complex system of residency registration that controls the benefits residents can enjoy is also a sticking point.