China / Society

Beijing vows 'strong control' of population growth

( Updated: 2015-11-26 16:16
Beijing vows 'strong control' of population growth

Passengers line up and wait for a security check during morning rush hour at Tiantongyuan North Station in Beijing on May 27, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Beijing again vowed that it would strongly rein in its population growth and set a ceiling of 23 million as the capital grapples with a shortage of water resources and a looming limit in carrying capacity.

The target was part of the city's next five-year development proposals approved by a plenary session of the Beijing municipal party committee on Wednesday.

For the first time ever, "strict control of population growth" was incorporated into the resolutions of such a meeting.

Guo Jinlong, Beijing's Party chief, said that an oversized population remains the most prominent problem, and that excessively rapid growth is an important cause of the city's "urban ills."

He said the targeted population of 23 million was calculated based on the capability of the city's water resources to support its residents.

The Beijing Municipal Committee also announced Wednesday that the capital plans to move most of its municipal departments to the suburban district of Tongzhou in 2017.

Tongzhou was designated as the site of a new administrative center for the municipal government to help relieve the current heavy pressure on public services in downtown Beijing, where the central government is located.

The relocation is also part of the integration plan for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, which aims to ease congestion in the capital and achieve more balanced development in the region.

In 2005, the State Council, or China's cabinet, set the goal of having a total of 18 million people for Beijing in 2020.

But the city's population has already surged to 21.54 million.

From 2014, the city began to relocate some of the businessmen in the wholesale markets near Dahongmen and Beijing Zoo to nearby cities in its neighboring Hebei province.

A clothing market in Langfang, Hebei province, which opened at the beginning of this year, boasts 150,000 square meters in construction area and nearly 4,000 booths. More than 80 percent of its salesmen are from the two wholesale markets in Beijing.


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