NUS Press Pte Ltd

China's New-type Urbanisation Plan has greatly impacted hundreds of millions of rural citizens. This article provides a comprehensive review on recent urbanisation trends with respect to the Chinese rural population. It offers three key findings: (i) the actual progress of current urbanisation is significant yet still limited; (ii) the reform strategies of rural land marketisation and restructuring urbanisation finance are innovative yet largely unrealised; and (iii) the goals of growth and citizenship embedded in reform strategies may be inconsistent and contradictory. Despite reflecting a significant rural-to-urban demographic transformation, China's new-type urbanisation trajectory is a long-drawn-out process.

INTRODUCTION

China has undergone unprecedented urbanisation accompanied by unparalleled rural-to-urban migration. Ongoing urbanisation may determine the fate of approximately 778 million Chinese with agricultural (rural) hukou (household registration) (Table 1). In 1958, the central government officially implemented the hukou system, which is tied to rural and urban institutions across China, thus giving rise to the rural-urban dual system.1 The dual system has become China's governance mechanism that has [End Page 181] divided the country into a rural system and an urban system.2 The rural–urban divide created by this system has hindered rural populations from becoming integrated into the urban system, thus causing serious problems such as the constraints on rural migrants to become permanent urban residents.3 While recognising that constraints exist, the central government has proposed many measures, such as reforms of the hukou and land systems to facilitate urbanisation in the post-1978 reform period. The urbanisation of the rural population fundamentally means granting them the legal rights to become permanent urban residents.4

China's urbanisation in recent years had been propelled by the New-type Urbanisation Plan (2014–2020), launched in March 2014.5 That is the first national urbanisation plan focusing on the human aspect of urbanisation while stressing the urbanisation of the rural population.6 The plan's goal was to grant new urban (non-agricultural) hukou to 100 million agricultural hukou residents before 2020, providing them basic urban services and welfare.7 The rural population referred in the plan can be classified into two categories in terms of its relationship to cities. The first category is rural migrants, including rural migrant workers who live and work temporarily in cities. The second category refers to rural residents who live in the rural locations, such as townships specified in their hukou. By 2020, there were 261.1 million rural migrants, while rural residents comprised the majority of the 509.8 million people in rural areas (Table 1).

The New-type Urbanisation Plan is essentially a proclamation by the central government that the rural-urban dual system is the major obstacle to urbanisation and must be reformed, having drawn much attention from observers and scholars.8 While the plan has been lauded in society at large, it has also come under scrutiny by scholars. For instance, China studies scholar Chan Kam Wing states that the implementation of the plan requires a fundamental reform of the hukou system, the rural land tenure system and the fiscal system.9 However, the plan provides limited information on [End Page 182] revising the systems: "Like many other good plans in China, the new blueprint can still be distorted…or even reversed as it gets implemented at the local level, where the real test will lie".10 Other preliminary assessments of the plan conclude that it is only a preliminary exploration of new-type urbanisation patterns and that a number of important questions about hukou, land and finance have not been addressed.11 Urbanisation in China still involves a long process.12

While the term new-type urbanisation has become a mainstream topic in China, scholars and practitioners have also been discussing policies to urbanise the rural population. The goal of conducting a literature review is to examine the major aspects of urbanisation of the Chinese rural population between 2014 and 2020—the period spanning the New-type Urbanisation Plan. The review provides the research community with an overview and assessment of the process of and strategies for urbanising the rural population. The review suggests that despite a significant demographic transformation from rural to urban, the actual progress of new-type urbanisation remains limited.

This article is organised as follows. The first section introduces the theoretical framework and data. The second section examines the progress of urbanisation in the past decade, and the third studies the urbanisation progress during the past decade, and proposed solutions to urbanisation challenges. The fourth section examines the purposes of these solutions and their likely impacts, and the fifth section concludes.

Table 1. U R S C P
Click for larger view
View full resolution
Table 1.

Urban and Rural Structure of the Chinese Population

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE AND DATA

An understanding of the rural-urban dual system can provide a theoretical perspective for examining China's urbanisation. The historical and institutional arrangements of [End Page 183] the dual system explain why Chinese rural populations have been prevented from urbanisation.13 Each of the rural and urban systems comprises its own socio-economic system founded on state institutions, such as administration, land tenure, public finance, and social welfare and services.14 The hukou system and the land system are at the core of the dual system, which divides the urban and rural sectors and associated populations and prevents the exit of the rural population from that sector.15

In the hukou system, agricultural and non-agricultural hukou were assigned to the rural and urban populations respectively.16 Based on their hukou, rural and urban residents were constrained within the corresponding rural and urban institutions of the dual system, and migration between rural and urban areas was also strictly controlled before the late 1970s.17 Continual hukou reforms have permitted rural-to-urban migration since the early 1980s, introduced "blueprint" hukou that granted migrants some urban welfare benefits in the early 1990s, and granted local hukou to migrants in small cities and towns since the early 2000s.18 However, for decades, local governments have given rural migrants very limited entitlements to urban social welfare and services (i.e. housing, compulsory education, medical care, pensions and employment in the public sector), due to their rural status.19

As the hukou system categorises agricultural and non-agricultural hukou, China's dual land system classifies lands that are owned by the state and by rural collectives such as villages, into urban and rural respectively.20 In the dual land system, residents with agricultural hukou are tied to rural areas for potential exploitation by the state, thus constraining their urbanisation. Land reforms initiated in the late 1970s established a rural land system, stipulating that rural land was owned by village collectives and contracted to individual rural households.21 In this system, rural households obtained the rights of contracting and using the land, and villages have their own collective organisations, which actually own the rural land. Until the 1990s, rural land could [End Page 184] be turned into rural construction land, but after 1992, to become this, rural land had to be converted to urban land by the state.22 Thus, local governments which controlled the rural-to-urban land conversion have often until recent years expropriated rural land at well below market value.23 Farmers have no right to sell their contracted land in the market to finance their development. After state expropriation of their land, many farmers become landless villagers.24

The rural-urban dual system was established mainly for the salient goal of achieving economic growth. For decades, the state has predicated China's economic development on the dual system, using the rural population to boost development.25 During the Mao era, farmers and agriculture were exploited to fund heavy industrial development.26 In the current reform period, rural land may easily become a cheap resource to fund urban growth, and rural migrants constrained by the dual system have also become cheap labour to bolster industrialisation.27 The dual system is still the most fundamental and influential factor that determines the course of urbanisation.28

The New-type Urbanisation Plan proposes reforming the dual system and the urbanisation of the rural population as centerpiece of the plan. This suggests that an important objective of new-type urbanisation is to grant the rural population, such as rural migrants, urban citizenship. The idea of citizenship means that becoming a permanent resident and obtaining basic urban welfare and services are the rights of every rural migrant and that the dual system preventing them from claiming these rights should be abolished.29 To dismantle the dual system entails integrating the divided rural-urban institutions into one system. Nevertheless, the dual system itself does not explain how the divided rural and urban systems may be integrated. A literature review on the ongoing new-type urbanisation of the rural population can provide insights into the strategies to abolish the dual system and urbanise more of the Chinese rural population. [End Page 185]

This article selects Chinese and English academic articles on urbanisation of the rural population via CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure or Zhiwang) and Google Scholar, respectively. Multiple paper selections were conducted, and each selection used the keyword "China" with one of the following phrases: new (or new-type) urbanisation, rural-urban dual system, land reform or finance reform. A total of 264 well-cited articles from top Chinese academic journals, such as those in the Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index, were reviewed. The authors also reviewed 111 articles from various non-academic journal sources, including top state news outlets such as Guangming ribao (Guangming Daily) and Liaowang (Outlook Weekly), and leading social media such as Caixin and Netease (Wangyi). In addition, the authors also reviewed 58 English academic articles. The majority of the selected articles were published between 2014 and 2021. Limited by length, this article cites only those sources that are most relevant to the review. The main arguments and major statistical findings of these articles were organised in relation to their perspective on the dual system and urbanisation.

PROGRESS: URBANISATION RATE AND INTENTION OF THE RURAL POPULATION TO BE URBANISED

Urbanisation Rate

The urbanisation rate (chengzhenhua lü) which Chinese literature has widely used measures the percentage of residents with different kinds of urban status in the total population and is key to understanding the progress of China's urbanisation. In 2012, China's urbanisation rate with respect to urban populations (i.e. the percentage of residents living within urban areas and towns in the total population) was 52.6 per cent; the urbanisation rate with respect to non-agricultural hukou populations (i.e. the percentage of non-agricultural hukou residents in the total population) was 35.3 per cent.30 The two urbanisation rates with respect to urban populations and non-agricultural hukou populations grew to 63.9 per cent and 45.4 per cent respectively in 2020 (see Table 1). The increase in urbanisation rates indicates that the goal of the New-type Urbanisation Plan to urbanise around 100 million rural residents (about seven to eight per cent of the total population) was reached by 2020, the end of the planning period. The difference between the two urbanisation rates increased from 17.2 per cent (2012) to 18.5 per cent (2020), indicating a 1.3 per cent increase of the rural migrant population in the total population. The 1.3 per cent increase falls short of the goal of the New-type Urbanisation Plan, which was to achieve a two per cent reduction of the rural migrant population. This implies that migrant urbanisation (yidi chengzhenhua)—the transformation of rural migrants into permanent urban residents while granting them urban local hukou—largely lags behind the planning [End Page 186] goal. The finding of slow-paced migrant urbanisation is in line with the results in other research.31

The structure of the urbanised population provides more details about the progress of urbanisation. According to a national-scale study, the sources of the annual increase in the urban population between 2012 and 2016 can be grouped as follows: (i) the urban born, 18.6 per cent; (ii) in situ urbanised rural residents through an adjustment of administration boundaries, 35 per cent; (iii) rural-urban college students, 32.3 per cent; and (iv) other rural migrants, 14.2 per cent.32 Thus, the majority of the rural population who have become urban residents in recent years are rural residents and rural-urban college students, instead of those less-educated rural migrants.

Intention of the Rural Population to be Urbanised

The literature evaluates the intention of the rural population to be urbanised (chengshihua yiyuan), which indicates recent urbanisation progress.33 This article selects a total of 16 studies on this topic published between 2014 and 2020. As these studies were conducted using similar methodology, their findings can be presented together and summarised in Table 2. These studies used surveys of the rural population to collect data for evaluating the progress of urbanisation.34 They typically use three indicators—the desire to work in the city; the desire to live in the city for a long time; and the desire to change hukou status and live permanently in the city—to evaluate and measure the intention by percentages.35 The three indicators also reflect a gradual three-step rural-to-urban transition. Some of these surveys divided the rural population (i.e. rural migrants and rural residents) into two generations, namely the first generation (those who were born before the early 1980s) and the second generation (those who were born after the early 1980s).36 Each of the two generations was asked [End Page 187] questions about the degree of their general intention to be urbanised, measured by percentage. Based on the same indicators and similar survey questions with comparable statistics, these studies indicate the broad tendencies of people's intention to be urbanised across China.

In general, the intention varies by the generation of the rural population and by the phases of urbanisation (Table 2). For rural populations of the same generation, the intention of migrant workers to be urbanised is stronger than the intention of rural residents for in situ urbanisation (jiudi chengzhenhua), the transformation of rural residents into urban residents within their hometowns, without relocating. The intention of the second generation of rural residents and migrant workers is respectively stronger than that of the first generation. While the intention of the rural population remains in the low-to-medium range, the intention of first-generation rural residents is the lowest, averaging only 28.26 per cent (Table 2). The first generation has a stronger sense of belonging to their villages and prefers returning to their hometowns; most of the second generation, by contrast, have few farming skills and prefer urban life which is typically associated with higher income, richer culture and better-quality education.37

Table 2. I R P U N U P P
Click for larger view
View full resolution
Table 2.

Ie Rural Population to be Urbanised during the New-type Urbanisation Plan Period

Regarding the phases of urbanisation, the intention of the rural population also varies in the low-to-medium range. The intention declines monotonically across three phases: to work in the city, to live in the city for a long time, and to change hukou status [End Page 188] (and live permanently in the city) (Table 2). In comparison to migrant workers whose intention to move to the city is above 44.67 per cent, rural residents have a relatively high intention (60.39 per cent on average) to work in the city and the lowest intention (16.63 per cent on average) to change hukou status (Table 2). Such a contrasting pattern indicates the relatively strong willingness of the rural population to work and live in the city, but their reluctance to become permanent urban residents.

Three major factors contribute to the relatively low urbanisation intention of rural populations.38 The first is urbanisation policies. The government has stringently maintained the hukou system in large-to-mega cities to control population size, while encouraging rural populations to settle in smaller cities and towns. However, small cities and towns could provide only a limited number of jobs, welfare and services, thus reducing the intention of the rural population to become residents of these areas. The second factor is the potential high cost of becoming a permanent urban resident, and this would mean the potential loss of rural properties, including rural land and village dividends. Rural residents would rather keep their rural properties as income sources instead of becoming permanent urban residents without land. Third, the low socio-economic status of the rural population discourages them from living permanently in the city. Changing their hukou status and living in the city on a permanent basis mean that they must commit to lifelong participation in intense socio-economic competition to afford the high cost of living in the city. With less education and fewer skills, rural migrants to the city may easily become losers in the competition and therefore hesitate to change their hukou status.

In short, the progress of urbanisation remains limited, even though a significant number of rural residents live in urban areas and are statistically counted as the urban population. Until 2020, the magnitude of the difference between the two urbanisation rates did not decrease. Instead, an increasing number of rural migrants have congregated in the city and have not been granted local urban hukou. The intention of the rural population to be urbanised has largely remained at a low level, reinforcing the slow-paced migrant urbanisation. The limited progress reflects the far-reaching impacts of the rural-urban dual system on urbanisation and more effective strategies are required to reform the system.

SOLUTIONS UNDER DEBATE

Multiple strategies to encourage urbanisation and to reform the dual system have been proposed in the recent decade. These strategies include the most recent reform of the hukou system, which has undergone reforms for over three decades. Recent major hukou reform policies include (i) implementation of point systems to grant local hukou to eligible migrants (jifen ruhu), starting in the early 2010s; (ii) replacement of [End Page 189] agricultural and non-agricultural hukou with resident hukou (jümin huji) across the country, beginning in 2014; and (iii) establishment of a resident permit institution (jüzhuzheng zhidu) that has begun to grant migrants some basic local services and welfare, beginning in 2015.39 In 2019, the central government proposed to abolish hukou control over migrants in cities with urban populations of less than three million and to relax hukou control in large cities with urban populations in urban districts of three to five million.40 As these new policies indicate, hukou reforms have been widely viewed as a key solution to the lagging urbanisation of rural migrants.

Nevertheless, the elimination of the dual system is not as simple as changing household registration from rural to urban status; it also entails other crucial solutions.41 These solutions must be balanced against the spatial distribution of resources and populations by reforming other institutions in addition to the hukou system—as required by the New-type Urbanisation Plan—to equitably provide both rural and urban populations with basic public services (jiben gonggong fuwu jundenghua). This section discusses three crucial solutions pertaining to urbanisation: location, land and finance. Unlike the widely agreed-upon hukou reform, these solutions are still open to debate.

Location: Where Urbanisation Should Take Place

Urbanisation takes place in certain areas that can support the concentration of the rural population; urbanisation is, therefore, crucial to both the population and the localities. The debate about where urbanisation should take place has persisted since the early reform era. One side of the debate argues that migrant urbanisation in large cities and megacities should drive urbanisation.42 The other side supports [End Page 190] urbanisation in small cities and towns, which the central government has encouraged since the early reform.43

The migrant urbanisation strategy is supported by economies of scale. Due to their size, large cities and megacities are better equipped to foster economic growth and absorb rural migrants.44 However, this type of urbanisation is criticised for creating problems such as crowding, poverty, crime and the separation of migrant family members.45 Supporters of migrant urbanisation argue that these problems do not result from migrant urbanisation itself but rather from other issues, including the existence of the dual system.46 Solving these problems requires improvements in urban governance and planning, rather than controlling the population size in megacities or even evicting migrants from these cities.47

To cope with these problems, a new strategy of in situ urbanisation was proposed in the recent new-type urbanisation, and some scholars give several reasons to explain the advantage of such a strategy. First, the countryside in the south-east coastal areas of China is more attractive than urban areas to rural residents, who may prefer to remain where they are rather than migrate to urban areas.48 Second, in situ urbanisation does not require rural-to-urban migration, thus potentially avoiding the institutional barriers of the dual system to migrant urbanisation, such as the cost of providing urban welfare and services to migrants.49 Third, some migrants return from cities to their hometowns, bringing with them the skills acquired in the city which enable them to pursue good lives in their hometowns, thus further supporting the merits of in situ [End Page 191] urbanisation.50 Although this lacks a solid theoretical basis, it has been widely practised by the state as a new strategy.51

In practice, both strategies have encountered challenges. A major challenge to migrant urbanisation is obstacles in urban governance, such as unfriendly migrant population management and the limited capacities of urban governance and planning. By contrast, the major challenges to in situ urbanisation lie in how to develop small cities and towns to attract more migrants, especially young return migrants, and to provide them with job opportunities and basic urban welfare and services.52 While some scholars emphasise the importance of an input of resources into small cities and towns to boost their development,53 others propose developing new rural communities with urban-style services and welfare to promote in situ urbanisation.54 However, the exogenous resources that must be continuously injected into small cities, towns and rural communities, whether via state subsidies or market investment, represent further challenges to these approaches.

Moreover, in situ urbanisation is tied to a serious problem—"pseudo-urbanisation". To attain the demanding goals of increased urban populations set by upper-level governments, local governments may simply change administrative divisions from townships into towns, or from counties into urban districts.55 Through such a change in how jurisdictions are designated, rural residents are counted as urban residents in statistics, although their rural status remains unchanged, as do their lives. The number of rural residents counted as urban residents can be as high as 53 per cent of the total urbanised rural population.56 As Li Tie, an urbanisation specialist, explains:

The large scale of urbanising the rural population is by… turning the administrative divisions of villages into urban areas or towns…This approach has been deployed in many provinces…Urbanisation seems to be in progress; however, fundamental problems have not been solved. Their lifestyles have not fundamentally changed, [End Page 192] and their living conditions, the infrastructure they use, public services provided to them essentially have not changed.57

Analyses of related statistics reveal that "pseudo-urbanisation" not only generates exaggerated statistics but may also lead to urban sprawl and overdevelopment in housing, infrastructure and public facilities.58

Other possible urbanisation locations have also been suggested in recent years. For instance, recent hukou reforms have eliminated the hukou control of migrants in mid-sized cities, potentially increasing urbanisation of the rural population in these areas. Another suggestion is to develop metropolitan areas or urban regions for the concentration and urbanisation of the rural population.59 The development of urban regions helps small- and mid-sized cities within the urban regions to develop into more attractive destinations for the rural population.60 Innovative policies to urbanise the rural population in mid-sized cities, large metropolitan areas and urban regions engage both the migrant and in situ urbanisation strategies and are likely to be practicable.

Land: How the Dual Land System can be Reformed to Drive Urbanisation

Reform of the rural-urban dual land system is the key to increasing urbanisation.61 Two major approaches to reforming the dual land system have been proposed. The first is to strengthen rural land property rights for the rural population.62 This approach separates the property rights of rural land into three categories (sanquan fenzhi), namely [End Page 193] ownership rights, contracting rights and management rights.63 Through such a division, individual property rights for the management of rural land by agricultural hukou holders would be strengthened, while rural land collective ownership remains in place. These new management rights would allow individual rural residents to benefit from the usufruct of collectively owned rural land—the rights to use, enjoy and derive profit from their land—including the rights to rent their land while excluding the rights to transfer land ownership to someone else.64

The second approach is to establish a market specifically for rural-to-urban land transfers.65 Such a market would prohibit the mandatory expropriation of rural land by the state, establish rural land trading platforms, allow rural land to enter local state-controlled land markets, and permit transfers among the three types of rural land: agricultural, construction and homestead land. Through these two approaches, rural residents and rural migrants would be able to convert their land into market profits that in turn finance the cost of their urbanisation, such as their resettlement expenses.

The two approaches were initiated and proposed in the 2000s when the central government highly valued the land-use issues and reinforced the protection of rural land property rights.66 In 2008, the third plenary session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announced the decision to establish the strictest arable land protection system and economic land-use system (i.e. the "two systems"), together with the rural land contractual rights market and the rural-urban integrated construction land market (i.e. the "two markets").67

The 2010s witnessed the incremental reinforcement of the "two systems" and "two markets" decision and the two approaches in land policies and laws. In 2013, the central government issued a decision to develop an integrated rural-urban construction land market. In 2014, the New-type Urbanisation Plan proposed reforms to the rural land management system, specifically to protect the usufruct of farmers' homestead lands and to allow rural collectives' for-profit construction land (jiti jingyingxing jianshe yongdi) to be sold, rented or converted into stock shares at the [End Page 194] same market price as state-owned land. In 2016, the central government issued a policy that separated property rights for rural land into three categories.68 The same year, the government issued another policy that combined the three urbanisation factors of "people", "land" and "money" resources ("ren" "di" "qian" guagou zhengce).69 This policy requires local governments to carefully account for the rural population to be urbanised (i.e. "people") and, based on that number, to calculate the additional area of construction land (i.e. "land"), infrastructure development, and fiscal transfers (i.e. "money") needed to support the efficient urbanisation of the rural population.70 The policy provides a clearer mechanism for the government to manage urbanisation.

New land laws have further impacted urbanisation, but only in a limited way. The new rural land contract law, issued on 1 January 2019, stipulates that the rural population, including migrants, still maintains contractual rights to their land, even after obtaining an urban hukou.71 On 26 August 2019, the central government approved a crucial amendment to the land administration law, permitting the proposal of the rural collectives' for-profit construction land to be traded in the market.72 However, the impact of this law amendment on urban development is actually limited because the rural collectives' for-profit construction land accounts for only 14 per cent of the total rural construction land and most rural collectives' for-profit construction land had already been developed.73 The amendment also allows rural residents to sell their homesteads when they change their hukou status from rural to urban, and encourages rural collectives and collective members to use vacant homesteads for profit.74 However, the amendment does not include a practical road map for marketising homesteads, which make up 70 per cent of the total rural collective construction land.75 Thus, it is still very difficult for the rural population to sell their homesteads and the impact of this amendment on urbanisation has remained very limited.

Observing the limited land reforms, a study by Chinese economist Liu Shouying suggests additional steps to reform the land system.76 The main steps are: (i) farmers' homestead property rights must be protected; (ii) farmers must be fairly compensated [End Page 195] when their homestead is traded on the market or expropriated by the state; (iii) the distribution of homestead usage rights should be permitted across different villages; and (iv) the rental market for land in a village should be open to outsiders who are not from the village. The key to further land reform is to change homestead management, which will promote agriculture, farmers' welfare and urbanisation.77

However, opinions regarding land reform vary widely. Some scholars and top-ranking government officials are concerned that the marketisation of rural land may impoverish the rural population, especially if they use or squander all of their compensation from the marketisation.78 In response, other scholars suggest institutionalising clearer reform regulations and more transparent management, instead of avoiding further reforms.79 Some scholars are also concerned that further land reforms may stimulate rural land speculation that would exploit the rural population and create social instability.80 A key solution to potential land speculation entails structural change in the land-based economic development model, in which local governments use land as a financial instrument and engine of economic growth.81 In reality, an alternative model has yet been found in place of the land-based economic model.

Finance: How and How Much Urbanisation Should be Paid

Urbanisation requires substantial expenditures to support the livelihoods and sustenance of rural populations in cities on a permanent basis. Extant literature highlights that three stakeholders should foot the expenses of urbanisation: the government, the rural population and their employers. China's major challenges to financing urbanisation lie in a lack of state efforts.82 While the central government has not provided sufficient assistance, local governments lack the incentives to pay for the expenses arising from [End Page 196] urbanisation;83 the increase of urban welfare coverage has been trivial.84 The central government's investment in fixed assets for urbanisation also remains very limited.85 In the 2000s, the central government had continuously addressed the equity issue of public resources allocation between rural and urban residents; however, its financial expenditure on rural issues was on a downward trend.86 In 2016, the central government issued a fiscal policy to support urbanisation, but this does not include any fiscal reform pertaining to urbanisation of the rural population.87

Figure 1 illustrates a general plan proposed by scholars for financing urbanisation, particularly in basic urban welfare and services for the rural population. The central and local governments should pay for several major public expenditures, namely social security, affordable housing, compulsory education, public administration and urban infrastructure (Figure 1). With regard to the division of responsibilities, the central government should bear full responsibility for financing expenditures for social security and compulsory education; local governments in areas receiving the rural population should take responsibility of housing provision, public administration and urban infrastructure (Figure 1). The central government should regulate the division of responsibilities and expenditures among the governments at all levels, organise the work of local governments, and increase its financial support through fiscal transfers to local governments in areas receiving the rural population.88 Local governments should focus on the provision of public services for the rural population that is becoming urbanised.89 Local governments in the areas receiving rural migrants should pay for their expenditures while trading land quotas and using land lease income from the local governments of the migrants' hometowns.90 In addition, as demonstrated in Figure 1, both the rural population and their employers, along with the state, should [End Page 197] contribute to their living costs and social security; individuals should also pay for their own housing.

Details on the expenditures necessary to convert rural residents to permanent urban residents indicate that urbanisation is a costly process. According to two studies published in 2013 and 2015, the average urbanisation expenditure per rural resident was around 250,000 yuan.91 The average expenditure is made up of the public expenditure component at 130,000 yuan and the private expenditure component at 120,000 yuan, which is paid by rural residents and their employers.92 Public expenditures per rural resident varied regionally: in eastern, central and western China, public expenditures were, respectively, around 170,000 yuan, 100,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan; private expenditures per rural resident were, respectively, around 145,000 yuan, 100,000 yuan and 105,000 yuan.93 Urbanisation has taken place in recent years in spite of soaring housing prices.94

Figure 1. Division of Urbanisation Expenditures among Stakeholders Notes: "A" refers to the central government's fiscal transfers to and organisation of local governments; "B" refers to trades between land quotas and land lease income; "C" refers to financial support. Sources: Fu Shuaixiong, Wu Lei and Han Yipeng, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation), Hebei xuekan (Hebei Academic Journal), 39 (2019): 135–42; Peng Xinwan, "Chuangxin nongmingong shiminhua chengben jiejue silu: jiyu guonei wenxian de fenxi" (Innovative Ideas for Solving the Cost of Urbanising Migrant Workers), Neimenggu shehui kexue (Inner Mongolia Social Sciences), 39 (2018): 41–6, 197; Wei Longbao and Wang Wenting, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben yu shouyi: yanjiu pingshu yu lilun kuangjia goujian" (Literature Review on Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers), Xibei nong lin keji daxue xuebao (Journal of Northwest Agriculture and Forest University), no. 3 (2018): 37–44.
Click for larger view
View full resolution
Figure 1.

Division of Urbanisation Expenditures among Stakeholders

Notes: "A" refers to the central government's fiscal transfers to and organisation of local governments; "B" refers to trades between land quotas and land lease income; "C" refers to financial support.

Sources: Fu Shuaixiong, Wu Lei and Han Yipeng, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation), Hebei xuekan (Hebei Academic Journal), 39 (2019): 135–42; Peng Xinwan, "Chuangxin nongmingong shiminhua chengben jiejue silu: jiyu guonei wenxian de fenxi" (Innovative Ideas for Solving the Cost of Urbanising Migrant Workers), Neimenggu shehui kexue (Inner Mongolia Social Sciences), 39 (2018): 41–6, 197; Wei Longbao and Wang Wenting, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben yu shouyi: yanjiu pingshu yu lilun kuangjia goujian" (Literature Review on Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers), Xibei nong lin keji daxue xuebao (Journal of Northwest Agriculture and Forest University), no. 3 (2018): 37–44.

[End Page 198] Some studies conclude that urbanisation expenditures have been grossly overestimated. The likely explanation is that most analyses do not incorporate economies of scale into their models.95 After accounting for economies of scale, the actual total expenditure for public services and urban infrastructure is lower than the number of individual expenditures multiplied by the number of urbanised rural residents. Another reason is that many studies should have subtracted the costs of the rural population in their hometowns from the total urbanisation expenditure.96 Other criticisms highlight that migrants' contributions to urbanisation and to their new home city were excluded from the calculations.97 As labour economist Cai Fang states:

Few studies examine how much benefit the reform [urbanisation of rural populations] can create…Urbanisation can help reduce the rural–urban income gap and more importantly, stop the transfers of poverty between rural generations… [Urbanisation] supplies more labour, increases productivity and stimulates economic growth, which is the most substantial reform benefit.98

Scholars have not reached a consensus on some aspects of the financing plan, such as specific responsibilities and detailed categorisation of expenditures among the three stakeholders.99 For instance, while most scholars suggest that the government should shoulder greater responsibility for financing urbanisation,100 others contend that the expenditure should be derived from the rural population itself, perhaps from profits from the marketisation of rural land.101 A Chinese metaphor daizi rucheng, which means the rural population should take their capital with them when entering the city, is often used to imply that rural migrants should finance their own urbanisation. Skills training has been widely regarded as an effective method to improve the low socio-economic status of the rural population and facilitate urbanisation; however, studies reveal varying opinions about which of the three stakeholders (i.e. the government, the rural population or their employers) should bear the primary [End Page 199] responsibility to pay for the training.102 While some scholars incorporate the costs of employment and training in the category of public expenditure, many others also include the costs of building more urban infrastructure in this category.103 In late 2019, the central government launched an "award fund" of 30 billion yuan to be allocated to local governments, especially to the areas where more rural populations were urbanised or more problems of urbanisation were solved.104 Since then, the central government has allocated the "award fund" for urbanisation every year. The recent policy change, hence, warrants an in-depth examination of the division of responsibilities, tasks and expenditures among the three stakeholders, and the underlying rationale to be conducted.

In short, the solutions to the challenges of urbanisation can be found in three hotly debated areas: location of urbanisation, land reform and urbanisation finance. The Chinese government and scholars have proposed new strategies, including in situ urbanisation, marketisation of rural land and financing plans for urbanisation, in addition to existing strategies such as hukou reform and migrant urbanisation. While the advantages and constraints of these strategies are under debate, the marketisation of rural land and the restructuring of the rural-urban finance system are still largely at the proposal stage. These urbanisation solutions are controlled and should be approved by the central government. In such a top-down reform process, the central government's efforts, especially in the land and finance reforms, are pivotal to the success of new-type urbanisation.

ANALYSIS: IMPACTS OF THE SOLUTIONS REGARDING NEW-TYPE URBANISATION

This section discusses the impact of solutions regarding the new-type urbanisation on the ongoing urbanisation by analysing their goals. Urbanisation, from a developmental state's standpoint, has typically favoured economic growth and treated migrants as expendable labour resources; by contrast, urbanisation from the standpoint of citizens seeks to uphold equal rights and social justice. While the dual system advances economic growth as an objective, new-type urbanisation advocates equal rights of citizenship to be granted to the rural population as its objective, and this seems to suggest dismantling the dual system. Nevertheless, if the solutions of new-type urbanisation aim mainly [End Page 200] to achieve economic growth, the rural population may be treated as the human resources to generate growth and this would jeopardise the realisation of equal citizenship for the rural population.

Given that there are various strategies for new-type urbanisation, some can be seen to demonstrate their pro-growth objective, while others are clearly pro-citizenship. The pro-growth goal is embedded in the development of small cities and towns, in situ urbanisation, non-marketisation of the rural land and the use of the rural population's money to finance their urbanisation. The development of small cities and towns and in situ urbanisation are anticipated to avoid the scenario of paying the cost of migrants' resettlement in the city, especially in megacities. While it is proposed that the rural population finance their urbanisation, the state certainly pays less. Nonmarketisation of the rural land would tend to tie rural migrants to the rural sector and sustain the current exploitive urban welfare and service system that excludes them. In doing so, the city and the state can reduce their expenditure on urbanisation and obtain higher economic gains through the process. However, "pseudo-urbanisation" associated with the development of small cities and towns and in situ urbanisation does not urbanise a large number of rural residents but instead simply defers the task of urbanising them, thus burdening the new-type urbanisation.

More seriously, the pro-growth strategies may consolidate the dual system, hindering new-type urbanisation. The state has established village collective ownership and household contracting institutions as essential components of China's rural policy,105 and these have remained largely intact in land reforms. When promoting non-marketisation of rural land, pro-growth strategies maintain the rural land collective ownership. Current solutions of new-type urbanisation have involved few reforms of the collective ownership of village economics and finance; as discussed earlier, public finance reforms for urbanisation are largely at the preliminary, academic research stage. The collective ownership of village economics and finances has therefore been a persistent issue. Without a comprehensive reform of the rural system, the rural-urban dual system will resist any initiatives to dismantle it, maintaining the secondary citizenship of the rural population and preventing complete urbanisation of the rural population.

Pro-citizenship solutions include hukou reforms, migrant urbanisation, marketisation of rural land, and the state-led and state-invested finance of urbanisation. Migrant urbanisation and hukou reforms grant migrants local rights to access basic urban welfare and services. The marketisation of rural land relaxes the constraints on rural residents' homestead rights, while a state-invested financing strategy acknowledges rural migrants' contribution to China's development and funds their urbanisation. These strategies rely on the principle of equitable provision of basic public services to both rural and urban populations and thus promote citizenship. [End Page 201]

However, some pro-citizenship approaches, although supportive of the abolition of the dual system, have ironically accepted pro-growth ideas of treating rural residents as resources. It is widely agreed that urbanisation boosts urban economic growth in China.106 Some pro-citizenship studies argue that the rural population and their properties are important resources for economic development. First, as discussed earlier, the marketisation of rural land may help finance urbanisation.107 The Chinese metaphor daizi rucheng suggests that the cash value of rural land could in turn be utilised as capital for urban development and to offset state expenditures for urbanisation. Second, economic consumption by the rural population may be regarded as an important way of boosting urban growth. When the real estate bubble created many vacant market housing units in the 2010s, rural migrants' consumption of urban housing was suggested as a way of reducing the large inventory of housing units.108 Third, the recent hukou reforms, such as the point system, grant local hukou to migrants with higher levels of education but still exclude lower-educated migrants.109 This implies that local governments have been unwilling to grant them urban citizenship, creating the uncertainty and challenge of urbanising the large number of lower-educated migrants and rural residents. Thus, some pro-citizenship approaches still treat the rural population and their land properties as economic resources and may hinder the ongoing urbanisation.

In short, current solutions to reform the dual system have inconsistent or contradictory outcomes, creating uncertainty and challenges for new-type urbanisation. Continuing reforms are required to change the hukou status of an increasing number of rural migrants (261.1 million as of 2020) and the large number of rural residents, who were counted as urban residents in statistics, to permanent urban resident status. Key reform strategies of the dual system, such as rural land marketisation and restructuring the finance system, remain largely at the proposal stage. More importantly, reform strategies rooted in the interest of economic development may ironically sustain the rural part of the dual system and undermine the effects of reforming it. Thus, urbanising such large numbers of the rural population, introducing structural changes in rural land marketisation and the finance system, and formulating urbanisation solutions without contradictory goals will ensure a long-drawn-out urbanisation process. [End Page 202]

CONCLUSIONS

In comparison with the rapid pace of industrialisation and urban development in China, urbanisation of the Chinese rural population has been relatively slow during the reform period.110 In 2014, the central government officially acknowledged that the rural-urban dual system is an obstacle to urbanisation, hence the New-type Urbanisation Plan was launched to expedite urbanisation. At the end of the planning period (2014–2020), many details regarding urbanisation remained unclear. Premised on three findings, this article argues that with respect to the goal of urbanising the majority of the rural population in the transition to permanent urban resident status, urbanisation is expected to be a long-drawn-out process.

The first finding is that actual progress in urbanising the rural population remains limited, although the two urbanisation rates associated with the urban population and the non-agricultural population have significantly increased in recent years. The intention of the rural population to be urbanised remains in the low-to-medium range, and the rate of migrant urbanisation largely lags behind the in situ urbanisation of rural residents, indicating a limited progress of urbanisation. A more serious issue is that in situ urbanisation frequently involves significant amounts of "pseudo-urbanisation", wherein the administrative divisions of an area are changed from rural to urban, merely in name only, rather than enacting real change in the rural population. Such "pseudo-urbanisation" indicates that a large number of urban residents are actually not urbanised. These aspects of limited urbanisation pose major obstacles to further new-type urbanisation.

Second, while the hukou system has undergone continual reforms, the efficacy of other key solutions in expediting urbanisation is questionable and under debate, and some solutions are rarely implemented. In contrast to the approach of encouraging migrant urbanisation in large cities and megacities, in situ urbanisation is considered a complementary approach. However, it also presents challenges such as limited employment opportunities. Land reform as a key solution has made slow progress. Both the government and academia have acknowledged the necessity of establishing an integrated rural-urban land market and reforming homestead management. However, land reform has been hindered because the marketisation of rural land has, to a large extent, been a proposal on the drawing board. On the question of financing urbanisation, the primary responsibility has been placed either on the government or on rural populations, while most scholars suggest that the central government should help organise and subsidise local governments, particularly the governments of cities receiving migrants. However, a consensus has yet to be reached among scholars on expenditures and detailed financial plans, and, to date, limited policies have been initiated or implemented. In sum, both land and finance reforms require deep structural changes for new-type urbanisation. [End Page 203]

Third, the dual goals of growth and citizenship embedded in the reform strategies may be inconsistent and contradictory. While economic development has been the state's interest and the rural population is thus inevitably considered a key economic resource, granting migrants urban citizenship requires redistributing rights to the city for the rural population. Both objectives may therefore be at odds. While some pro-citizenship approaches may ironically use the rural population as expendable economic resources, some strategies (such as in situ urbanisation and non-marketisation of the rural land) may sustain the dual system and hinder urbanisation. These different solutions, espousing contradictory goals, may simultaneously expedite and hinder urbanisation, making the future of urbanisation uncertain.

Practices and measures enacted under the New-type Urbanisation Plan have been effective to some extent. The annual "award fund" of tens of billions of yuan, implemented since 2019, is the central government's big step forward in directly financing urbanisation of the rural population. This may trigger further top-down investment and organisation. However, it is expected that the ongoing urbanisation will encounter serious impediments, including slow progress in migrant urbanisation, the large majority of rural residents showing low urbanisation intention, "pseudo-urbanisation", the maintenance of the existing rural system, and the difficulty of restructuring the land and finance system. Overcoming these obstacles requires the state to make a fundamental change in its governing rationale and its attitude towards the rural population, and also the abolition of the dual system of the three urbanisation factors, namely hukou, land and finance resources. Society has gradually recognised the enormous contribution of the rural population to China's development. In response, the state should change its governance approach towards the rural population—not to treat them as development resources but to acknowledge them as citizens with the rights to be permanent urban residents. Otherwise, hundreds of millions of rural migrants will remain "stranded" between the ever-existing rural-urban dual system.

Gong Yue

Gong Yue (yuegong@whu.edu.cn) is Associate Professor at Wuhan University and PhD Program Advisor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Macao Polytechnic University. He holds a PhD from the Interdisciplinary Program of Urban Planning at the University of Washington. His research focuses on migration, housing and community, and urban governance.

Wei Yanning

Wei Yanning (ywei2@luc.edu) is Lecturer and GIS Lab Director at the School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago. He completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Washington. His research interests lie in the area of geography of China, globalisation and spatial data science.

Gu Jingling

Gu Jingling (jl.gu@foxmail.com, corresponding author) is a civil servant at the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources. She holds a master's degree in geography from Peking University. Her research focuses on urban planning.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors' research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 41871154). The authors were grateful to the anonymous reviewers' insightful comments and the editors' diligent work. They also extend their gratitude to Professor Chan Kam Wing and Professor Ian MacLachlan for their advice. All remaining errors are the responsibility of the authors alone.

Footnotes

1. Wei Yanning and Gong Yue, "Understanding Chinese Rural-to-Urban Migrant Children's Education Predicament: A Dual System Perspective", International Journal of Educational Development 69 (September 2019): 48–57.

2. Chan Kam Wing and Wei Yanning, "Two Systems in One Country: The Origin, Functions, and Mechanisms of the Rural–Urban Dual System in China", Eurasian Geography and Economics 60, no. 4 (2019): 422–54; Wu Jieh-min, "Migrant Citizenship Regimes in Globalized China: A Historical-Institutional Comparison", Rural China: An International Journal of History and Social Science 14, no. 1 (2017): 128–54; Martin King Whyte, ed., One Country, Two Societies: Rural–Urban Inequality in Contemporary China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. The State Council of the People's Republic of China (PRC), "Guojia xinxing chengzhenhua guihua (2014–2020 nian)" (New-type Urbanisation Plan [2014–2020]), 2014.

6. Chan Kam Wing, "China's Urbanisation 2020: A New Blueprint and Direction", Eurasian Geography & Economics 55, no. 1 (2014): 1–9; Chen Mingxing, Liu Weidong and Lu Dadao, "Challenges and the Way Forward in China's New-type Urbanisation", Land Use Policy 55, no. 35 (2016): 334–9.

7. Chan, "China's Urbanisation 2020"; The State Council of the PRC, "Guojia xinxing chengzhenhua guihua (2014–2020 nian)" (New-type Urbanisation Plan [2014–2020]), 2014.

8. Ibid.

9. Chan, "China's Urbanisation 2020".

10. Ibid., p. 8.

11. Wang Xin-Rui, Eddie Chi-Man Hui, Charles Choguill and Jia Sheng-Hua, "The New Urbanisation Policy in China: Which Way Forward?", Habitat International 47 (June 2015): 279–84.

12. Chen, Liu and Lu, "Challenges and the Way Forward in China's New-type Urbanisation".

13. Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country".

14. Whyte, One Country, Two Societies; Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country".

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Ibid.; Wei and Gong, "Understanding Chinese Rural-to-Urban Migrant Children's Education Predicament".

18. Guo Dongjie, "Xin Zhongguo 70 nian: huji zhidu bianqian renkou liudong yu chengxiang yitihua" (The 70-year Transformation of the Hukou System: Migration and Rural–Urban Integration), Zhejiang shehui kexue (Zhejiang Social Science), no. 3 (2019): 75–84, 158–9; Jon R. Taylor, "The China Dream Is an Urban Dream: Assessing the CPC's National New-type Urbanisation Plan", Journal of Chinese Political Science 20, no. 2 (2015): 107–20; Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country". These articles provide chronological information of changes in hukou reform.

19. Dorothy Solinger, Contesting Citizenship in Urban China: Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999); Wu, "Migrant Citizenship Regimes in Globalized China".

20. Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country"; Liu Shouying, "Zhongguo tudi zhidu gaige: shang bancheng ji xia bancheng" (China's Two-stage Land Reform), Guoji jingji pinglun (International Economic Review), no. 5 (2017): 29–56.

21. Ibid.

22. For a chronology of the changes in land policy, see Liu, "Zhongguo tudi zhidu gaige: shang bancheng ji xia bancheng" (China's Two-stage Land Reform).

23. Ibid.; Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country".

24. Ibid.

25. Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country".

26. Ibid.; Wu, "Migrant Citizenship Regimes in Globalized China".

27. Ibid.; Chan and Wei, "Two Systems in One Country"; Whyte, One Country, Two Societies.

28. Wei Longbao and Wang Wenting, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben yu shouyi: yanjiu pingshu yu lilun kuangjia goujian" (Literature Review on Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers), Xibei nong lin keji daxue xuebao (Journal of Northwest Agriculture and Forest University), no. 3 (2018): 37–44; Liu Shouying and Cao Yapeng, "Zhongguo nongmin de chengshi quanli" (Rights to City for Chinese Peasants), Caixin, 1 February 2018, at <http://bijiao.caixin.com/2018-05-30/101259217.html> [31 July 2022]; Li Tie, "Ruhe kandai jinyibu fangkai huji xianzhi" (Opinions on Relaxing Restraints of Hukou Control), Netease, 8 May 2019, at <https://c.m.163.com/news/a/EEKU5KU400258J1R.html?spss=wap_refluxdl_2018&spssid=c956ca01bc4e78eca9f20913a25a4910&spsw=2&from=timeline&isappinstalled=0> [31 July 2022].

29. Wu, "Migrant Citizenship Regimes in Globalized China"; Solinger, Contesting Citizenship in Urban China.

30. The State Council of the PRC, "Guojia xinxing chengzhenhua guihua (2014–2020 nian)" (New-type Urbanisation Plan [2014–2020]), 2014.

31. Guan Xingliang, Wei Houkai, Lu Shasha, Dai Qi and Su Hongjian, "Assessment on the Urbanisation Strategy in China: Achievements, Challenges and Reflections", Habitat International 71 (2018): 97–109.

32. Ren Zeping, "Zhongguo renkou da qianyi 2 yi xinzeng chengzhen renkou quxiang hefang" (What Is the Destination of China's Massive Migration of 200 Million New Urban Residents?), Caixin, 11 July 2018, at <http://opinion.caixin.com/2018-07-11/101299431.html> [1 August 2022].

33. Liu Chuanjiang and Cheng Jianlin, "Di'erdai nongmingong shiminhua: xianzhuang fenxi yu jincheng cedu" (The Second Generation of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation: An Analysis of Current Progress), Renkou yanjiu (Population Studies) 32, no. 5 (2008): 48–57; Qin Lijian, Tong Ying and Wang Zhen, "Nongdi shouyi shehui baozhang yu nongmingong shiminhua yiyuan" (Farmland Profit, Social Security and the Migrant Workers' Intention to Be Urbanised), Nongcun jingji (Rural Economy), no. 1 (2017): 79–85.

34. Ibid.; Wei Houkai and Su Hongjian, "Zhongguo nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua jincheng yanjiu" (Process of Urbanisation of the Chinese Rural Population), Zhongguo renkou kexue (Chinese Journal of Population Science), no. 5 (2013): 21–9.

35. Ibid.; Liu and Cheng, "Di'erdai nongmingong shiminhua" (The Second Generation of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation).

36. The first generation of migrant workers refers to those who moved into and worked in the city between the 1980s and 1990s; their second generation was born after 1980 and migrated into the city after the late 1990s. See Liu and Cheng, "Di'erdai nongmingong shiminhua" (The Second Generation of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation).

37. Liu and Cheng, "Di'erdai nongmingong shiminhua" (The Second Generation of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation); see also Liu and Cao, "Zhongguo nongmin de chengshi quanli" (Rights to the City for Chinese Peasants).

38. Xin Yuan, "Zhengshi nongmingong shiminhua san da maodun" (Three Major Contradictions in Migrant Workers' Urbanisation), Diyi Caijing (Yicai), 7 August 2017, at <https://www.yicai.com/news/5327308.html> [1 August 2022].

39. Guo, "Xin Zhongguo 70 nian: huji zhidu bianqian renkou liudong yu chengxiang yitihua" (The 70-year Transformation of the Hukou System: Migration and Rural–Urban Integration); Chen Mingxing, Gong Yinghua, Lu Dadao and Ye Chao, "Build a People-oriented Urbanisation: China's New-Type Urbanisation Dream and Anhui Model", Land Use Policy 80 (2019): 1–9.

40. Li Tie, "Fangkai 300 wan renkou yi xia chengshi luohu xianzhi, yiwei zhe shenme" (What Does It Mean to Loosen Restrictions on Settlement in Cities with a Population of Less Than Three Million?), Caijing, 26 December 2019.

41. Chen Juan, Deborah Davis and Pierre Landry, "Beyond Hukou Reform: Enhancing Human-Centered Urbanisation in China", The Jamestown Foundation, 2021; Guo, "Xin Zhongguo 70 nian: huji zhidu bianqian renkou liudong yu chengxiang yitihua" (The 70-year Transformation of the Hukou System: Migration and Rural–Urban Integration); Liu and Cao, "Zhongguo nongmin de chengshi quanli" (Rights to City for Chinese Peasants).

42. Liang Jianzhang, "Gongji ce gaige: buneng yankong da chengshi renkou guimo" (Supply-Side Reform: Cannot Strictly Control the Population Size of Large Cities), Caixin, 12 January 2016, at <http://opinion.caixin.com/2016-01-12/100898358.html> [1 August 2022]; Lu Ming, "Guanli chengshi xu shunying duanque xinhao, moyao fanzhe lai" (Urban Management Needs to Respond to Shortage Signals), Caixin, 30 August 2019, at <http://m.opinion.caixin.com/m/2019-08-30/101456833.html?ivk_sa=1023197a> [1 August 2022].

43. Guo, "Xin Zhongguo 70 nian: huji zhidu bianqian renkou liudong yu chengxiang yitihua" (The 70-year Transformation of the Hukou System: Migration and Rural–Urban Integration); Li Qiang, Chen Zhenhua and Zhang Ying, "Jiujin chengzhenhua yu jiudi chengzhenhua" (Localised and In Situ Urbanisation), Guangdong shehui kexue (Guangdong Social Science) (2015): 186–99.

44. Liang, "Gongji ce gaige" (Supply-side Reform); Lu, "Guanli chengshi xu shunying duanque xinhao, moyao fanzhe lai" (Urban Management Needs to Respond to Shortage Signals).

45. Li, Chen and Zhang, "Jiujin chengzhenhua yu jiudi chengzhenhua" (Localised and In Situ Urbanisation); Li Yining, "Zhongguo shi de chengzhenhua daolu" (Urbanisation with Chinese Characteristics), Guangming Daily, 26 December 2012 at <http://epaper.gmw.cn/gmrb/html/2012-12/16/nw.D110000gmrb_20121216_1-05.htm?div=-1> [1 August 2022].

46. Lu, "Guanli chengshi xu shunying duanque xinhao, moyao fanzhe lai" (Urban Management Needs to Respond to Shortage Signals); Liang, "Gongji ce gaige" (Supply-side Reform).

47. Ibid.

48. Qi Xinhua, Zhu Yu and Zhou Yanping, "Xiangcun laodongli qianyi de 'shuang lali' moxing ji qi jiudi chengzhenhua xiaoying" (A "Double-pull" Model of Rural Labour Migration and Its In Situ Urbanisation Effect), Dili kexue (Scientia Geographica Sinica) 32, no. 1 (2012): 25–30.

49. Li, Chen and Zhang, "Jiujin chengzhenhua yu jiudi chengzhenhua" (Localised and In Situ Urbanisation); Pan Hua, "Huiliu shi shiminhua: xinshengdai nongmingong shiminhua de xin qushi" (Urbanisation of Return Migrants: New Trend of Urbanisation of the New Generation of Migrant Workers), Lilun yuekan (Theory Monthly), no. 3 (2013): 171–4.

50. Ibid.

51. Lu Zhe, "Ling ren danyou de Zhongguo renkou yu chengzhenhua jincheng" (Concerns about China's Urbanisation), Netease, 26 January 2018, at <http://www.sohu.com/a/219168602_674079> [1 August 2022].

52. Shi Yishao, "Zhongguo xinxing chengzhenhua yu xiaochengzhen fazhan" (New-type Urbanisation and the Development of Small Cities and Towns), Jingji dili (Economic Geography), 33 (2013): 47–52.

53. Ni Pengfei, "Nongmingong shiminhua yu huajie fangdichan kucun" (Urbanisation of Migrant Workers and Resolving the Problem of Real Estate Inventory), Jingji ribao (Economic Daily), 21 December 2015, at <http://theory.people.com.cn/n1/2015/1221/c49154-27954431.html> [1 August 2022].

54. Li, "Zhongguo shi de chengzhenhua daolu" (Urbanisation with Chinese Characteristics).

55. "Bufen diqu renwei tuigao chengzhenhua lü" (Artificial Increase of the Urbanisation Rate), Jingji cankao bao (Economic Information Daily), 31 August 2016, at <http://dz.jjckb.cn/www/pages/webpage2009/html/2016-08/31/content_23001.htm> [1 August 2022].

56. Cai Fang, "Jin kao gaibian xingzheng quhua de chengzhenhua nan zeng gaige hongli" (Profit Surplus of Reform Could Hardly be Increased by Just Changing Administrative Divisions), Xinhua Net, 15 August 2016, at <http://www.xinhuanet.com//politics/2016-08/15/c_129230224.htm?from=timeline&isappinstalled=1> [2 August 2022].

57. Li, "Ruhe kandai jinyibu fangkai huji xianzhi" (Opinions on Relaxing Restraints of Hukou Control).

58. Jing Qiaoxi, "Chengzhenhualü zaojia weihai shen da" (Falsified Urbanisation Rate Is Very Harmful), Jinghua shibao (Beijing Times), 2 September 2016, at <http://opinion.zjol.com.cn/rdht/201609/t20160901_1885159.shtml> [1 August 2022].

59. Li, "Fangkai 300 wan renkou yi xia chengshi luohu xianzhi, yiwei zhe shenme" (What Does It Mean to Loosen Restrictions on Settlement in Cities with a Population of Less Than Three Million?); Gu Shengzu, "Xinxing chengzhenhua liu da guanjian" (Six Key Points of New-type Urbanisation), Liaowang (Outlook Weekly) (2013): 44–5.

60. Ibid.

61. Shan Jingjing, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben ji qi fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation), Xuehai 8 (2015): 177–84; Zhang Lidong, "Kexue fendan hao nongmingong shiminhua ge xiang chengben" (Cost Sharing Analyis of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation), Xinhua Net, 28 July 2016, at <https://news.ifeng.com/c/7fc7XiVI9h4> [1 August 2022]; Liu Shouying, "Nongcun tudi chengbao fa xiugai hou de di quan jiegou yu quanli guanxi", (The Land Rights Structure and Rights Relationship after the Amendment of the Rural Land Contract Law), Guangming Daily, 12 February 2019, at <http://epaper.gmw.cn/gmrb/html/2019-02/12/nw.D110000gmrb_20190212_2-11.htm> [1 August 2022].

62. Yuan Fangcheng and Jin Yongguang, "Xin shidai xin fazhan linian yinling xia de nongmin shiminhua" (Urbanisation of the Rural Population in the New Era), Henan shifan daxue xuebao (Journal of Henan Normal University), no. 46 (2019): 36–45; Ma Xiaohe and Hu Yongjun, "Yi nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua de nanti yanjiu" (Challenges in Urbanising 100 Million Rural People), Nongye jingji wenti (Issues in Agricultural Economy), no. 4 (2018): 4–14.

63. Ibid.; Liu, "Nongcun tudi chengbao fa xiugai hou de di quan jiegou yu quanli guanxi" (The Land Rights Structure and Rights Relationship after the Amendment of the Rural Land Contract Law); Zheng Zhongliang, "Wenbu tuijin he wanshan nongcun tudi san quan fen zhi zhidu" (Establishment and Improvement of the "Three-Rights" of the Rural Land System), Guangming Daily, 13 November 2018, at <http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2018-11/13/content_5339770.htm> [1 August 2022].

64. Ibid.; Liu, "Nongcun tudi chengbao fa xiugai hou de di quan jiegou yu quanli guanxi", (The Land Rights Structure and Rights Relationship after the Amendment of the Rural Land Contract Law).

65. Yuan and Jin, "Xin shidai xin fazhan linian yinling xia de nongmin shiminhua" (Urbanisation of the Rural Population in the New Era); Ma and Hu, "Yi nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua de nanti yanjiu" (Challenges in Urbanising 100 Million Rural People).

66. Liu Yansui, Fang Fang and Li Yuheng, "Key Issues of Land Use in China and Implications for Policy Making", Land Use Policy 40 (2014): 6–12.

67. Ibid.; Ye Xingqing and Flemming Christiansen, "China's Urban–Rural Integration Policies", Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 38, no. 4 (2009): 117–43.

68. Zheng, "Wenbu tuijin he wanshan nongcun tudi san quan fen zhi zhidu" (Establishment and Improvement of the "Three-Rights" of the Rural Land System).

69. Qiao Jinliang, "Ren di qian guagou yao fangzhi yi di bian qian" (The Policy of "People, Land, and Money" Shall Prevent Selling Land for Profit), Jingji ribao (Economic Daily), 18 April 2016, at <http://finance.china.com.cn/roll/20160407/3665234.shtml> [1 August 2021].

70. Ibid.

71. Liu, "Nongcun tudi chengbao fa xiugai hou de di quan jiegou yu quanli guanxi", (Land Rights Structure and Rights Relationship after the Amendment of the Rural Land Contract Law).

72. Huang Shulun, "Tudi guanli fa xiugai tongguo datong cheng xiang tudi shichang rengzai lushang" (Legislation of the Land Management Law and the Progress of the Land Market), Caixin, 27 August 2019, at <http://china.caixin.com/2019-08-27/101455368.html> [1 August 2022].

73. Ibid.

74. Ibid.

75. Ibid.

76. Liu Shouying, "Tudi gaige xiayibu" (Further Land Reform), Caixin, 10 March 2018, at <http://cnreform.caixin.com/2018-03-05/101217299.html> [1 August 2022].

77. Ibid.

78. Huang, "Tudi guanli fa xiugai tongguo datong cheng xiang tudi shichang rengzai lushang" (Legislation of the Land Management Law and the Progress of the Land Market).

79. Ibid.

80. Ibid.; Liu, "Nongcun tudi chengbao fa xiugai hou de di quan jiegou yu quanli guanxi" (Land Rights Structure and Rights Relationship after the Amendment of the Rural Land Contract Law); Qiao, "Ren di qian guagou yao fangzhi yi di bian qian" (The Policy of "People, Land, and Money" Shall Prevent Selling Land for Profit).

81. Liu, "Zhongguo tudi zhidu gaige: shang bancheng ji xia bancheng" (China's Two-stage Land Reform).

82. Fu Shuaixiong, Wu Lei and Han Yipeng, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation), Hebei xuekan (Hebei Academic Journal) 39, no. 3 (2019): 135–42; Peng Xinwan, "Chuangxin nongmingong shiminhua chengben jiejue silu: jiyu guonei wenxian de fenxi" (Innovative Ideas for Solving the Cost of Urbanising Migrant Workers), Neimenggu shehui kexue (Inner Mongolia Social Sciences) 39, no. 5 (2018): 41–6, 197; Wang Zhiyan, Wei Yunhai and Dong Wenchao, "Shandong sheng nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua chengben cesuan ji fendan jizhi goujian" (Constructing the Mechanism of Cost Estimation and Sharing for Urbanising the Transferring Agricultural Population: A Shandong Case), Jinji yu guanli pinglun (Review of Economy and Management) 31, no. 2 (2015): 125–31.

83. Fu, Wu and Han, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation).

84. Chu Yin-wah, "China's New Urbanisation Plan: Progress and Structural Constraints", Cities, 103 (August 2020), 102736.

85. Sun Dongqi, Zhou Liang, Li Yu, Liu Haimeng, Shen Xiaoyan, Wang Zedong and Wang Xixi, "New-type Urbanisation in China: Predicted Trends and Investment Demand for 2015–2030", Journal of Geographical Sciences, 27 (2017): 943–66.

86. Ye and Christiansen, "China's Urban–Rural Integration Policies".

87. Wang Chunguang, "Caizheng zhengce ruhe zhuli nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua" (How Fiscal Policy Helps the Urbanisation of the Rural Population), Renmin luntan (People's Tribune), no. 28 (2016): 63–5; Fu, Wu and Han, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation).

88. Ibid.; Wang, "Caizheng zhengce ruhe zhuli nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua" (How Fiscal Policy Helps the Urbanisation of the Rural Population).

89. Chen, Davis and Landry, "Beyond Hukou Reform".

90. Fu, Wu and Han, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation); Wang, Wei and Dong, "Shandong sheng nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua chengben cesuan ji fendan jizhi goujian" (Constructing the Mechanism of Cost Estimation and Sharing for Urbanising the Transferring Agricultural Population: A Shandong Case).

91. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhongguo chengshi lanpishu (Blue Book of Cities in China) (Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2013); Shan, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben ji qi fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation).

92. Ibid.; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhongguo chengshi lanpishu (Blue Book of Cities in China).

93. Ibid.

94. Chen et al., "Build a People-oriented Urbanisation".

95. Lu Ming, "Buneng gaogu nongmingong shiminhua de chengben" (The Cost of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers Should Not Be Overestimated), Beijing Daily, 27 February 2017.

96. Ibid.

97. Wei and Wang, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben yu shouyi" (Literature Review on Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers); Cai Fang, "Nongmingong shiminhua: liganjianying de gaige hongli" (Urbanisation of Migrant Workers: An Immediate Reform Bonus), Zhongguo dang zheng ganbu luntan (Chinese Cadres Tribune), no. 6 (2014): 51–3.

98. Ibid.

99. Wei and Wang, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben yu shouyi" (Literature Review on Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers); Peng, "Chuangxin nongmingong shiminhua chengben jiejue silu: jiyu guonei wenxian de fenxi" (Innovative Ideas for Solving the Cost of Urbanising Migrant Workers).

100. For example, see Chen, Liu and Lu, "Challenges and the Way Forward in China's New-type Urbanisation"; Sun et al., "New-type Urbanisation in China".

101. Fu, Wu and Han, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation).

102. Wei and Wang, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben yu shouyi" (Literature Review on Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation of Migrant Workers); Peng, "Chuangxin nongmingong shiminhua chengben jiejue silu: jiyu guonei wenxian de fenxi" (Innovative Ideas for Solving the Cost of Urbanising Migrant Workers).

103. For example, see ibid.; Fu, Wu and Han, "Xinxing chengzhenhua xia nongmingong shiminhua chengben fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost-sharing Mechanism of Rural Migrant Workers' Urbanisation in New-type Urbanisation).

104. The State Council of the PRC, "Zhongyang caizheng xiada 2019 nian jiangli zijing 300 yi yuan zhichi nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua" (The Central Government Provides 2019 Award Fund of 30 Billion Yuan to Support Urbanisation of the Rural Population), 2019.

105. Liu, "Zhongguo tudi zhidu gaige: shang bancheng ji xia bancheng" (China's Two-stage Land Reform).

106. Taylor, "The China Dream Is an Urban Dream".

107. For example, see Shan, "Nongmingong shiminhua de chengben ji qi fendan jizhi yanjiu" (Cost of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation); Zhang, "Kexue fendan hao nongmingong shiminhua ge xiang chengben" (Cost Sharing Analysis of Migrant Workers' Urbanisation); Wang, Wei and Dong, "Shandong sheng nongye zhuanyi renkou shiminhua chengben cesuan ji fendan jizhi goujian" (Constructing the Mechanism of Cost Estimation and Sharing for Urbanising the Transferring Agricultural Population: A Shandong Case).

108. Ni, "Nongmingong shiminhua yu huajie fangdichan kucun" (Urbanisation of Migrant Workers and Resolving the Problem of Real Estate Inventory).

109. Guo, "Xin Zhongguo 70 nian: huji zhidu bianqian renkou liudong yu chengxiang yitihua" (The 70-year Transformation of the Hukou System: Migration and Rural–Urban Integration).

110. The State Council of the PRC, "Guojia xinxing chengzhenhua guihua (2014–2020 nian)" (New-type Urbanisation Plan [2014–2020]), 2014.

Share