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Capital to see fewer transients
By Di Fang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-24 05:36

Beijing's non-resident population will not keep growing. After increasing by a small margin until 2008, the transient population in the capital will become stable, or even fall, results of a study reported by the Beijing Morning Post showed yesterday.

The Beijing Academy of Social Sciences released the results of the 2004 study on Saturday. The issue of reform of Beijing's residence registration system and population control is one of their key research topics.

Feng Xiaoying, vice-director of the Urban Issue Research Institute under the academy and presiding over the study, said that thanks to the municipal government's policies of industrial adjustment, the capital's migrant population will not keep growing without any limits, the Morning Post said.

The results have been submitted to the relative departments of Beijing's government, Feng said.

The study cited three main reasons for the stabilized growth of the population.

The influence of the Olympic Games in 2008 will gradually weaken, as will the number of transients working in construction, which currently is about 1 million. Meanwhile, as the government adjusts its policies on the real estate industry, the capital's demand for labour for construction will be diminished, especially after 2007.

Then the migrant labour from other places, hunting construction jobs, will shrink, according to the report.

Also, from now on, the urban functions, industrial structure and spacial layout of Beijing are to become more scientific, which will help the capital optimize its population structure, the newspaper said.

Other policies set by the central government, such as western development, the revitalization of the heavy industrial base of Northeast China and the emergence of Central China will also help diffuse the labour force flooding into the capital.

In addition, the central government has worked out policies to encourage farmers to remain in their jobs. The policies include alleviating their burden of fees and handing out subsidies. More farmers are expected to stay in rural areas, according to the report.

Since a period will be needed to gauge the influence of these policies, Feng said, Beijing will still be under great pressure from its large-scale population in the future, although the non-resident population is expected to climb by a small margin.

Data from the Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau showed that the municipality now has about 3 million to 4 million transients, and the total population is more than 13.8 million.

(China Daily 05/24/2005 page3)

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