Two cities to pilot urban and rural reform

Updated: 2007-06-10 09:17

China has selected southwestern Chongqing and Chengdu as pilot reform cities targeting coordinated rural and urban development through reforms in all sectors, official sources said on Saturday.

A document issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, urged the two cities to take the initiatives in pushing forward with reforms in all sectors in order to achieve coordinated and balanced development between urban and rural areas.

The NDRC also asked the two cities to lay out their detailed plans for the experimental areas as soon as possible.

The State Council, or the cabinet, has approved the establishment of the pilot reform cities, it said.

Analysts say to set the experimental areas is an important strategic decision to better promote the development of the country's underdeveloped central and western regions.

They are just two more pilot reform cities following southern Shenzhen, eastern Shanghai's Pudong New Area and northern Tianjin's Binhai New Area.

China has seen rapid economic growth since it began the reform and opening up policies in 1978, but a wide income gap between rural and urban areas also arises.

In Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, per capita net income of farmers was 4,905 yuan (645 U.S. dollars), while that of urban residents was 2.6 times that of farmers.

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