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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2015> Hot Topics
UPDATED: April 28, 2014 NO. 14 APRIL 3, 2014
A New Road for Urbanization
China welcomes global companies to participate in its new drive toward urbanization
By Lan Xinzhen

It is unnecessary to worry about local government debt risks, said Liu, because the MOF will further strengthen the management of local government financing companies, regulate local government borrowing, sort out the relationship between enterprises and governments, correctly guide market expectations, and prevent and diffuse financial risks.

Enabling migrant workers

There are slum areas in many cities of the world. They are actually a byproduct of rapid urbanization. After moving to cities, many people only earn low incomes, or else become jobless because of their low level of education or incapability. Finally, they naturally congregate in areas with low rent and living costs. In such areas, both security and living environment are often poor. The public is concerned that such areas will arise in China during the process of urbanization.

Yang Zhiming, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, said at the press conference that the most important tasks are to maintain and increase employment for migrant workers, protect their fundamental labor rights and interests, raise their technical abilities, encourage them to integrate into their enterprises, and help their children to integrate into schools, their families into communities and the their group as a whole into society.

"We must make sure they are employed when they move into the cities, have training before they are employed and get paid for their jobs," Yang said, listing these as the minimum requirements to protect migrant workers during the process of new-type urbanization. Moreover, there are some other higher-level requirements, such as workers living under improved conditions, spending their spare time engaged in cultural activities, having schools for their children and setting goals in their careers.

According to Yang, at present, China aims to accomplish two fundamental transformations through joint efforts by the government, enterprises and migrant workers: upgrading the migrant workers into modern technical workers and changing their identities from rural to urban residents so far as they are willing.

The plan includes programs for raising technical skills of migrant workers and proposed detailed targets for training. Training for migrant workers will be developed to get them into employment. The plan is to train 10 million people each year. By 2020, each migrant worker will enjoy technical training subsidized by the government. The aim of this is to eliminate the cases in which migrant workers with no skills are employed; training for employed migrant workers will be developed to improve their work skills, with 10 million people being trained each year by 2020 to upgrade the majority of migrant workers from junior workers to new-type technical workers. The government will train 1 million people a year, focusing on senior workers, technical workers and senior technicians. The plan also supports the construction of a number of specialized training bases for migrant workers to learn technical skills, through cooperation between schools and enterprises.

"In summary, we will enable migrant workers to learn skills, hold diplomas, find work and earn higher salaries, so as to fundamentally solve the dilemma of the job market, whereby demands for high skilled technicians are high but cannot be met in some areas," said Yang.

Email us at: lanxinzhen@bjreview.com

The Development of China's Urbanization

From 1978 to 2013, the number of China's permanent urban residents rose from 170 million to 730 million, and the urbanization rate rose from 17.9 percent to 53.7 percent.

The number of cities grew from 193 to 658, and the number of townships went up from 2,173 to 20,113.

At present, the proportion of permanent urban residents to China's total population stands at 53.7 percent, lower than developed nations' average of 80 percent, and 60 percent for developing countries with similar per-capita income levels to those of China.

Targets for China's Urbanization

—Level and quality of urbanization will be improved steadily

—Layout of urbanization will be optimized

—Pattern of urban development will become more scientific and reasonable

—Living conditions in cities will be made harmonious and pleasant

—Systems and institutions of urbanization will be continuously improved

(Source: National New-Type Urbanization Plan (2014-20))

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