China Faces Difficulties As Population Migrates Toward Cities

China Faces Difficulties As Population Migrates Toward Cities

ABOUT HALF OF CHINA’S 1.3 billion people will live in cities by the end of the decade, with more than 60 percent populating urban areas by 2020, according to Chou Baoxing, the country’s vice minister of construction.

Chou told the audience at a recent urbanization forum in Shanghai that China’s current rapid urbanization is creating environmental problems, traffic congestion, and an inadequate social safety network. Based on numbers from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Chou’s remarks suggest that nearly 100 million people will migrate from rural to urban locations over the next four years. There are currently 562.12 million people – or 41 percent of the population – currently living in cities.

In what might be viewed as a partial solution to some of these challenges, General Motors has announced that it will begin building hybrid cars in China by 2008. According to GM’s CEO Kick Waggoner, the company believes fuel cell vehicles are the best long-term solution for environmentally sustainable vehicle use, but that the building of a hydrogen infrastructure in China could take decades and cost billions of dollars. The hybrid vehicle is seen as a good interim solution.

Copyright Halcyon Business Publications, Inc. 2006

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