Home / China / National News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
10m Migrants Move to City, Farmland Swap
Adjust font size:

After relocating 1 million residents in the Three Gorges area, Chongqing is set to urbanize some 10 million rural migrants over the next decade.

The local government will invest 4 trillion yuan creating more job opportunities and boost urban infrastructure.

The central government selected Chongqing, set to celebrate its 10th municipal anniversary on June 18, and Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, as "pilot reform cities".

The pilot programs target coordinated rural and urban development through reforms in all sectors.

China has witnessed rapid economic growth since it launched its reform and opening up policies in 1978, but at the same time created a widening income gap between rural and urban areas.

As the only municipality in China's hinterland, Chongqing has a large city proper and an even larger countryside. Among its 32 million population, over 20 million live in the rural areas. In Chongqing, the average annual income of an urban resident is 10 times that of a farmer in a remote rural area. Every year, some half million farmers will travel to the city in pursuit of a better life.

"In 10 years, about 10 million farmers in Chongiqng will become urban dwellers, living and working in the city," Huang Qifan, vice-mayor of the fourth and the largest municipality in China, said.

"How to settle those farmers is the most important thing in the whole pilot reform."

The municipal government will ensure the new urban residents enjoy the same rights and services as others do with access to household registration, social security, education, sanitation, medical service, cultural facilities, and land management.

"We're thinking about releasing the land of the farmers who settle down in the city for other uses," the mayor said.

"Of course we will pay them well and ask them to give us the land they don't need anymore."

When farmers move to the city, they will require less space than before. In countryside, a farmer occupies about 200 square meters of land but only 100 in the city, on average.

According to Huang's calculation, if the land of 10 million farmers in rural areas can be released, urbanization would not reduce the overall the size of available farmland, but increase it.

"But to absorb 10 million newcomers to the city, the economic capacity of Chongqing proper should become much stronger," Huang said.

Billions of dollars investment for infrastructure in the past 10 years, has helped build Chongqing into a transportation center and the "trade gateway" in western China.

In March, Beijing announced it would develop Chongqing into the economic and financial center of the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River by 2020.

(China Daily June 16, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Songs, Kisses and Sweat on Labor Day of Migrant workers
60% of 'New Urban Migrants' Return Home Once a Year
Further Calls to Protect Migrant Workers' Rights
Migrant Laborers Retrieve Unpaid Salaries
Dinner for Migrant Workers
Free Legal Aid 'Assists' Migrant Workers
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号