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China Urbanization To Hit Roadblocks Amid Local Opposition

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-10/china-must-address-migrants-needs-in-urbanization-advisers-say.html

China’s plan to encourage hundreds of millions of rural residents to settle in cities to boost growth faces opposition from local governments, according to Li Tie, an official with the nation’s top economic planning agency.

Officials, researchers and company executives highlighted challenges at an urbanization forum in Beijing on Aug. 10. They cited the strain on local-government finances, the dangers of overbuilding and the cost of scrapping the hukou, or residence permit, system that denies migrants the welfare, health and education benefits of city dwellers.

Premier Li Keqiang has championed urbanization as a “huge engine” for growth as he seeks to shift the world’s second-largest economy toward a model that relies on consumption rather than investment and exports. As policy makers draft plans for the new leadership’s reform agenda ahead of a key Communist Party meeting later this year, Li is grappling with vested interests that could stymie some of his plans.

“Nobody wants such a big group of migrants to be their neighbors and share their so-called civilized space. This is a conflict of interest,” Li, director-general of the China Center for Urban Development under the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the forum. “We are facing rejection from the hearts of so many mayors and city elites who have enough ability to influence decision making.”

God forbid we have migrants living next door just think what it might do to the local house prices.

No riff raff in our backyard!

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