China to raise urban residents to 60 pct by 2020

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 10:13:57 EST

BEIJING (AP) — China will build more railways to help to raise the proportion of urban residents to 60 percent of the total population by 2020.

That is according to a 2014-2020 urbanization plan unveiled Sunday by the State Council, China's Cabinet, reported by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Beijing sees urbanization as China's next biggest engine for economic growth.

At present, permanent urban residents make up 53.7 percent of the population of almost 1.4 billion. This is lower than the average of 80 percent for developed countries and 60 percent for developing countries with similar per capita income levels as China.

Xinhua says the plan states that regular railways will cover cities with more than 200,000 residents by 2020 and high-speed railways with connect those with more than half a million residents.

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