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Beijing to curb population in 2014

2013-12-24 09:40 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

The Municipal Government of Beijing will put top priority on "resolutely" curbing its explosive population growth in 2014, announced Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun on Sunday.

"Resolutely controlling the population's excessive growth is the key to solving multiple problems such as traffic congestion and environmental pollution," said Wang at a session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing committee.

Guo Jinlong, Beijing's Party chief, said at the session that the explosive population growth and other social issues have "seriously" affected the city's sustainable development as well as the everyday life of the public.

Since 2000, Beijing's permanent population has increased by an average of nearly 600,000 annually to reach 20.69 million at the end of 2012, far exceeding the previously planned target of keeping the population at 18 million by 2020, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

This came after the release of a statement at an urbanization work conference of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee on December 14, which read that China will remove restrictions on population for towns and smaller cities and ease those for mid-sized cities, while the population will still be strictly controlled in megacities.

Wang said that Beijing will give full play to the restructuring of industries and upgrading of service industries to slow down population growth. Low-end industries like wholesale markets for clothes and building materials would be removed from downtown areas.

He added that Beijing will tighten the inspection and examination of the distribution of the quota for hukou, or household registration, including those at district-level.

Companies need to be revised and evaluated on various aspects, including environmental assessment, before registered in Beijing and the policy to attract talents will also be adjusted, he said.

Sheng Guangyao, an associate research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that it is crucial for megacities like Beijing to re-adjust structure of industries, most of which are unreasonable at present.

"When labor intensive and low-end service industries congregate in cities, local population will inevitably increase," he said, adding that companies of those industries concentrated in certain regions due to the rich public resources that a big city can offer.

Gu Jun, a sociology professor with Shanghai University, noted that megacities have been so developed and integrated so many different functions that both companies and individuals want to move there.

Gu added that megacities like Shanghai and Beijing are luring more people with high government efficiency and highly centralized social resources, while they work to control people flooding in.

"It is impossible to block low-end employees, since they naturally follow high-end talents and are welcomed to serve them by megacities," Gu said.

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