Urbanization reducing China's rural population
Updated: 2006-02-23 09:51
Urbanization has been
reducing the number of Chinese farmers and the trend is set to continue as China
moves to build a "new socialist countryside," a senior economic official said on
Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Office of the Central Financial Work
Leading Group, said that although permanent residence registrations show that
China's rural population stands at 940 million, the total of actual rural
dwellers is just 750 million as about 200 million people have migrated to work
in cities and towns.
"The trend will continue in the future," said Chen.
The development of a "new socialist countryside" is a sweeping campaign
largely aimed at improving the living conditions of farmers, who were left
behind amid the initial opening-up and reform drive.
Chen also pointed out that not all farmers desire to live in big cities due
to limited urban infrastructure and lack of job opportunities. The Chinese
government encourages farmers to work in adjacent towns and small cities and
other non-agricultural sectors.
Chen acknowledged China's rural population would remain large even when
Rural dwellers will still be 600 million even if only 40 percent of the
Chinese people live in the countryside in 2030, when the total population is
expected to rise to 1.5 billion.
"To increase the living standard of these farmers, China should spare no
efforts to build the new socialist countryside," Chen said.