The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) officially issued the Key Ttasks for New Urbanization and Urban-rural Integration Development in 2021 (hereinafter referred to as “Ttasks”), which covers many aspects such as promoting the orderly and effective integration of the rural migrant population into cities and improving the carrying capacity of urban agglomerations and metropolitan areas.
According to the task, urban hukou restrictions will be eased in an orderly manner in 2021, and restrictions on hukou will be completely lifted in cities with a permanent urban population of less than 3 million. The coordinated development of large, medium and small cities and small towns will be promoted, and the formulation and implementation of development plans will be supported in metropolitan areas such as Fuzhou, Chengdu and Xi ‘an.
A new type of urbanization will not be achieved overnight. In recent years, the pace of household registration reform has been accelerating. From small and medium-sized cities and small towns with a permanent urban population of less than 1 million, to Ⅱ big cities with a permanent urban population of 1 million to 3 million, the restriction on household registration has been completely cancelled. And then to 2020, “urge” cities with a permanent urban population of less than 3 million to completely cancel the restriction on household registration. Finally, the policy will be clearly implemented in 2021.
By 2019, China had 672 cities, 30 of which had a permanent urban population of more than 3 million. In other words, all 642 cities will achieve “zero threshold hukou” by 2021.
“It’s a gradual process.” Yang Ge, an associate researcher with the Institute of Population and Labor Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the 21st Century Business Herald that “the gradual easing of restrictions on hukou will be accompanied by a need to speed up the construction and supply of public services, which will also effectively prevent a run on urban public resources in the process.”
It is fair to say that this list of tasks for the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan reflects, to some extent, the development trend of China’s new urbanization path. In addition to the policy “step by step”, this year’s “mission” also appeared in some noteworthy new terms.