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Senior Official Calls for More Cheaper Homes to Promote Urbanization

China needs to build more low-price homes to promote healthy and sustainable urbanization, Qiu Baoxing, Minister of Construction, said in a seminar speech in Beijing on Wednesday.


He made the remarks at a forum at the China Foreign Affairs University.


Calling urbanization an "irresistible trend" for every country in the world, Qiu said the government had to invest more in low-rent and low-price homes as well as to increase supply and improve the social welfare system.


The world's most populous country with roughly 1.3 billion people, China has about 900 million people living in rural areas. With an average annual income of 3,587 yuan in 2006, rural residents have been discouraged from moving to cities by the rocketing housing prices.


Qiu outlined challenges to urbanization, such as environmental degradation and inefficient use of resources.


(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2007)

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