China president Xi Jinping vows to limit growth of largest cities
A view of Shanghai which is reported to have more than 24 million residents - by Peter Parks
Decades of rapid urbanisation in China have seen the proportion of its urban population swell to more than 50 percent, creating massive conurbations such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Authorities will "strictly control the size of the population in especially large cities", Xi said at a meeting of a Communist Party policy group, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Migration in China has for decades been limited by the country's "hukou," household registration system, which denies countryside residents equal access to health, education and housing benefits when they move to cities.
But Xi said urban registration restrictions would be "fully liberalised" in towns and small cities, while relaxing restrictions in middle-sized cities.
The report did not provide a timeline for the implementation of the new measures, or details on how small and large cities are defined.
Reforms to the hukou system have long been opposed by local governments and urban residents reluctant to shoulder the costs of extra benefits for migrants.
China -- the world's most populous country -- said the number of people living in cities exceeded the rural population for the first time in 2012. It aims for that number to reach more than 60 percent by 2020.
The population of the capital Beijing reached more than 21 million at the end of last year, state media said, while the commercial hub Shanghai is reported to have more than 24 million residents.
- Fed leaves policy unchanged despite stronger growth
- Carnage in war-torn Gaza as strike hits packed market
- Isolated Indians make contact with outside world in Brazil
- Rebel chief in east Ukraine bans swearing
- Riddle of bulging Moon solved at last
- Controversial Turkish minister turns ire on pole-dancing women
- South Korea president’;s party wins vote for economic reforms
- EU short of women for next executive
- Fourth female suicide bomber hits Nigeria’;s Kano, kills six
- Libya Islamists seize key Benghazi army base
- Trial over Malaysian plane crash not likely at ICC, says Dutch
- Police issue warning to groups over Muslim preacher video clip protest
- Hindu groups, Indian parties demand action against Muslim preacher
- Political factions find unity in arts at George Town Festival
- I will not be a 'puppet MB', says Dr Wan Azizah
- Abdullah was a better leader than Najib, say ex-Umno minister and DAP
- Najib, Pak Lah and Mahathir also named in banknote graft case injunction, says WikiLeaks
- Home Minister and IGP head to Ukraine for joint MH17 mission
- Esscom assigns six teams to monitor east Sabah security posts – Bernama
- No need to register Negara-ku, it’;s not a threat to national security, say lawyers
- PAS leaders must meet now, not August 10, says Youth chief
- Unlike Penang, KL is okay with foreigners cooking street food
- Pakatan won’t break up over Selangor crisis, says ‘optimistic’ Anwar
- Selangor crisis and its implication for PAS
- Voters will abandon Pakatan over MB crisis, PAS stand, say analysts