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move 100 million rural residents, mostly migrant workers, to cities by 2020.
Under the plan, cities with a population under 3 million should remove all limits on hukou — hous
ehold registration — and cities with populations between 3 million and 5 million should relax restrictio
ns on new migrants. Having hukou in a city generally confers more social benefits on residents.
Megacities including Beijing and Shanghai should improve the points system to qu
alify for household registration, allowing more people to settle in those cities.
“In the future, the main driving force of China’s urbanization will be conferring the benefits of urban
citizenship on rural migrant workers,” said Xu Lin, former director of the NDRC’s development plan
ning department. “In this process, it is key to offering new migrants treatment equal to that of city residents.”
China has made steady progress in urbanization, as permanent urban residents amounted
to 831 million at the end of 2018, up by 17.9 million from the previous year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.