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Urbanization and its discontents

By Fulong Wu | China Daily | Updated: 2012-02-06 07:54

Urbanization and its discontents

China is now entering an urban age. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's urban population reached 690 million in 2011, accounting for 51.27 percent of the total population. Now, more than half of China's population lives in cities and towns. The country has reached a profound historical milestone; it has bid farewell to traditional rural society and joined the urban world.

China's urbanization is an event of global significance not only because the scale and pace of urban expansion is unprecedented in world history, but also because the process of urbanization is deeply embedded in the global economy. China's urbanization is becoming the engine of global economic growth.

Unlike the flocking of farmers into the slums of "third world cities", a process known as "pseudo-urbanization", the swelling of China's urban population is driven by the jobs created in cities in association with the "factory of the world". The pace of urbanization has been determined by the world demand for Chinese workers and the products they make.

Urbanization and its discontents

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