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Premier: Greatest potential for domestic demand lies in new urbanization

Updated: Jul 23,2020 04:38 PM

Promoting a new kind of urbanization that puts people first is the decision and deployment of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, and an important part of the construction of new infrastructure, new urbanization and major projects, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on July 22.

The promotion of new urbanization is in the interest of many aspects, including investment, consumption, employment and people’s livelihoods. It is of great significance to ensure stability in six fronts and security in six  
areas and to help keep the fundamentals of the economy stable, he said.

"Urbanization is the only way to modernization, and as the country is in the process of rapid urbanization, with permanent urban
residents exceeding 60 percent of the population in 2019, new urbanization is where the greatest potential for domestic demand lies," Premier Li said.

"Efforts should be made to improve weak links in urban construction, upgrade public facilities and improve public services in cities at county level to meet the needs of migrant workers who want to work and live in cities, in order to enhance their quality of life."

Better life quality

According to Premier Li, the concept of people first should be at the core in promoting new urbanization.

"This year, both the challenges brought by COVID-19 epidemic in big cities and the waterlogging disasters caused by heavy rains in many cities have exposed problems in our urban construction," he said.

The Premier stressed that problems exposed in epidemic, flood, and disaster control should be addressed, the public health system and related facilities be strengthened and cities’ capacity to prevent and respond to epidemics be improved.

Urban flood control facilities, for example, river courses, embankments, reservoirs, and drainage pipelines, must be planned and improved based on scientific research, he said, adding that control over disasters, such as typhoons, earthquakes and fires, should also be intensified.

Meanwhile, renovation of old residential areas should be expedited, and more environmental protection facilities, community public services, intelligent utilities, and public parking lots should be built for high-quality urban development, the Premier said.

"The promotion of new urbanization should put people first and focus on their demand for better life," he stressed.

"Urbanization construction in counties should be strengthened, as a large number of rural residents are looking to settle in counties. To accommodate more of them, public infrastructure such as transportation, garbage and sewage disposal system should be improved, and housing to meet the basic demands of these newcomers should be built."

More job opportunities

The Premier urged multiple channels of input to the new urbanization construction. Fiscal funds guarantee mechanism for public welfare projects should be improved, and more support should be given to public facility projects that are necessary and can generate certain benefits when disbursing local government special bonds.

He said the government funds should be a leverage in establishing a reasonable return mechanism of public projects. Private investment should be introduced, and financial institutions should be encouraged to provide more medium- and long-term credit help.

Local governments should cultivate and develop more projects, solve problems from the past, and avoid vanity projects, the Premier said.

New urbanization should not only provide favorable living conditions, but also boost labor-intensive industries to increase job opportunities near home for rural residents.