NANNING, Nov. 9(Xinhuanet)-- China's urban population stands at 540 million, accounting for 41.8 percent of the national total, about 24 percentage points higher compared with that in 1978 when China began to open to the outside world, said a senior construction official here Wednesday.
The 41.8 percent urbanization rate also shows that the urban population increased by 370 million in the past 27 years, said Vice Construction Minister Liu Zhifeng at the Nanning International Conference on Sustainable Urban Development that opened here in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
China has been actively promoting urbanization to create job opportunities and increase farmers' income, said Chen Xiaoli, the ministry's chief planner. The rapid development of urban economy has driven the growth of neighboring areas.
With China's large population, for a 10 percentage points increase in the urbanization rate, the number of people equivalentto Japan's population must transfer from rural to urban areas, said Chen. For a 20 percentage points increase, the number of people equivalent to the America should be moved from villages to cities.
Chen said in the coming five years, China plans to clearly identify the functions of different regions in accordance with their resources and environment and set up diversified criteria to evaluate their development. The method is expected to drive cities to explore urbanization with distinctive characters. Enditem