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Premier Li Stresses Human-Centered Urbanization

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged efforts to deepen human-centered urbanization as it can improve people's livelihoods and boost economy.

"China's greatest development potential lies in urbanization," according to a statement issued on January 24 after an executive meeting of the State Council held on January 22.

As a project that has a significant bearing on the improvement of people's livelihoods, urbanization is also conducive to promote effective investment and consumption, which enables a coordinated development between cities and the countryside, the statement said.

The government will make it easier for people from the countryside to become officially recognized urbanites. With the exception of a very few mega cities, restrictions on hukou , or registered permanent residence, in cities will be fully liberalized for university graduates, skilled workers and returned overseas students.

A regulation that upgrades "residence permit" management, announced by the State Council in December last year and effective from this month, will ensure city dwellers that have not yet acquired hukou  have access to basic public services including education, employment, medical care and legal assistance, according to the statement.

The government will speed up renovation of shantytowns and dilapidated buildings. Supportive policies on shantytown renovations will be expanded to cover major towns across the nation. Private capital is encouraged to contribute to the construction of roads and underground pipelines.

China will also expand the pilot areas for "new type" urbanization, encourage the development of medium and small-sized cities. Pilot projects will be carried out in some towns with a population over 100,000 that will enable them have county-level administration authority, according to the statement.

(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2016)

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