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Urbanization, legal reform big challenges for China

Updated: 2013-11-17 11:02
( Xinhua)

COVENTRY, Britain - Urbanization and legal reform are two big issues faced by Chinese leaders currently, experts said on Saturday.

Last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang especially talked about urbanization a lot, said Kerry Brown, executive director from the China Studies Center at the University of Sydney.

This poses an enormous challenge for the leaders because urbanization creates mobility of people, Brown said at the China Forum in the Warwick University.

By 2020, he said, 70 percent of Chinese people will live in cities. Therefore social structure improvement is needed to deal with the expansion of urban population.

"In (Chinese) leadership's minds, they want to find solutions to growth, aiming to establish a strong country," Brown said.

"A big achievement by former Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao is economic growth," he told the forum.

To keep the momentum of development, Li proposed to increase domestic consumption and improve the development of service sector so as to address the structural problems, but above all he talked about urbanization, Brown said.

Ernest Caldwell, lecturer in Chinese law from the School of Law with the University of London, has been studying the Chinese legal system for over ten years.

"I saw good developments since the reform and opening-up," he told Xinhua, taking the revision of criminal law and criminal procedure law as examples.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li took office, Caldwell added, "there is increasing discourse of the rule of law."

At the mean time, he saw growing right consciousness from grassroots.

Caldwell especially talked about the constitution, which the Chinese leaders used against corruption and the ordinary people used to protect their individual interest.

However, he noticed that legal reform is still a challenge for the Chinese leaders. "We need to see how the constitution better utilized and ... how steps are taken with big issues, such as Hukou (household registration system) reform," he said.

He praised the emphasis of rule of law at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, but noting it takes time to see the progress.