Governance, Environment and Socio-Economic Imperatives
Edited by François Gipouloux
Chapter 5: China’s hukou reform and new urbanization blueprint
For several decades, China’s post-1949 urbanization has drawn enormous attention in the scholarly literature and, more recently, from the public media for its importance to the global economy (Chan, 2012b). Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has considered China’s urbanization, along with the USA’s technological innovation, the ‘two keys’ to mankind’s development in the twenty-first century (Bloomberg News, 2012). Indeed, urbanization is China’s latest strategy to move the economy forward (Chan, 2012a). Equally important, the mystique of China’s urbanization –including its feats, for example, in allegedly bringing about rural–urban integration in Mao’s times and avoiding urban ‘ills’ today – has also long fascinated generations of journalists and scholars alike (see, for example, Murphey, 1975; Leys, 1983; Lu, 2011; Zhang, 2013), though, as it turns out, many of the asserted feats are mostly unfounded claims or gross misinterpretations (see a review in Chan, 1994; Tang, 2014).
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