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Beijing to cap population at 22 mln in 2017

Xinhua, January 16, 2017 Adjust font size:

Beijing is on course to cap its population at 22 million in 2017 as the capital saw its population growth rate slow last year, said acting mayor Cai Qi.

Beijing plans to remove non-essential functions and improve urban management, said Cai while delivering the city's annual government work report to the opening of the annual session of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress on Saturday.

The municipal budget will allocate a guidance fund of 10 billion yuan (1.45 billion U.S. dollars) for the campaign.

The non-essential functions include manufacturing, logistics, and wholesale markets.

Six downtown districts -- Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan -- achieved negative population growth for the first time last year.

The campaign includes the demolishing of illegal buildings with total floor space of more than 40 million square meters, relocating or improving 158 market and logistics centers, and closing more than 500 general manufacturing and polluting companies, according to Lu Yan, head of Beijing development and reform commission.

Beijing's population exceeded 21 million in 2015. The city aims to cap it at 23 million by 2020.