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China 'needs €6tn in 20 years' to cope with strain on cities

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Crowded Wangfujing street and shops in Central Beijing, China. Photo: Getty Images

Crowded Wangfujing street and shops in Central Beijing, China. Photo: Getty Images

Crowded Wangfujing street and shops in Central Beijing, China. Photo: Getty Images

China will need to spend €6 trillion over the coming 20 years as another 200 million rural people flock to its cities, a new government report claims.

The Blue Book of Cities in China, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Science's Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, outlined the huge challenges facing the world's most populous nation as mass migration continues at breakneck speed.

Combined with the estimated 200-300 million migrant workers who have already taken up partial residence in the cities, authorities needed to devise ways of successfully "urbanising" up to 500 million people, the report said.

Shan Jingjing, a researcher, said urbanisation was a welcome and "natural development" but that authorities had to prepare for its side-effects.

Between €5tn and €6tn would be needed to fund housing, social welfare and infrastructure projects to support new arrivals to China's already teeming cities.

When China's Communist Party took power following the 1949 revolution, nearly 90pc of the population lived in rural areas.

By 1982, about 25pc of Chinese lived in cities. Three decades of unprecedented economic growth saw that number rise to more than 50pc last year for the first time in Chinese history. Around 690 million Chinese people now live in cities, compared with 656 million in rural areas.

Some expect the urban population to swell to 75pc within the next 20 years, as rural people migrate in search of better jobs and living conditions. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent