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Urbanization and social policy in China

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Urbanization in China has in part been subject to centrally planned control and in part has resulted from the pressures of industrialization and economic development. One of the major, if neglected, influences has been the social policies controlling internal migration and influencing urban-rural inequalities in income and social welfare. Urbanization poses continuing and growing challenges for social policies. This paper explores three approaches of possible future urbanization: planned and controlled urbanization, free-market development and balanced social development. The paper emphasizes the importance of a balanced social development approach, as it would maintain social stability, cater to the needs of large and small cities and urban and rural areas, and help to narrow the rural-urban gap in terms of social provision.

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