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Comment on "China urbanization rate exceeds 50%" (China Daily website, May 29)
It is undeniable that the urbanization of China will be one of the most important events this century. Compared with other countries, the rate of 50 percent is still quite low, which means more and more people are going to permanently move to urban areas in China in near future. The huge demand caused by the biggest urbanization process in human history has already played a significant role in the growth of the Chinese economy.
On the other hand, due to inequality in social and economic capital, the tension between different groups in urban regions has significantly intensified in the past 10 years. Migrant workers, for example, who lack access to urban utilities, cannot feel sufficiently attached to the cities they are living in and may become confused about their identity. Their frequent migration between major urban areas also causes huge labor instability. To solve these problems, China must be aware of the importance of integrating new urbanities and change the governance style to include them. Thus, urbanization in China may bring more to China and even the world than the growth of GDP.
Xiao Zhong, via e-mail
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(China Daily 06/11/2012 page9)