2010: PRC Urbanization: Counterfeit and Forced Urbanization

Counterfeit urbanization  伪城市化 and forced urbanization 强制性城市化 are two terms Chinese scholars sometimes use when they discuss the problems of China’s rapid (nearly one percent annually) urbanization.

Counterfeit urbanization  伪城市化 discussed in Tang Jialing’s article Urbanization or “Counterfeit Urbanization”城市化还是伪城市化” by唐家岭:  —  to summarize, about 200 million people who still have rural household registration and so have certain civil disabilities (inferior social security coverage) and have not integrated in their customs or income levels to the city, are nonetheless counted as permanent  urban residents.  The Chinese government claims that China’s overall urbanization rate climbs by nearly one percent each year.  Prof. Lu Xueyi of CASS is quoted as calling this counterfeit urbanization and so China’s true urbanization rate is over 10 percent lower than the currently claimed 45.7%.

[Note:  I notice that many big cities have two population figures depending upon whether migrant workers are counted.  When I visited a Shanghai city office in 2005, I asked about how much the population figure would increase if migrant workers in Shanghai were included in the population count.  A Shanghai city official told me that the count would increase by more than three million people. ]

中国社科院荣誉学部委员陆学艺认为,2008年末,中国城镇化率达到45.7%。但是这个数字是有水分的,原因是有大概接近2亿的农民户口居民被统计在内,但他们并没真正实现城镇化。因此,中国的1.5亿农民工尽管被统计进入常驻城市人口,但仍是“伪城市化”,因为这些农民工在城市买不起房,欠缺消费能力。 近期到唐家岭村进行调研的中国社科院经济所张曙光认为,目前农民工和很多大学生进了城,但是生活方式、消费水平、行为习惯多是农村的,如果去掉这2.1亿进城市的农民工和大学生,城市化率可能要下降十几个百分点。

The second concept 强制性城市化 forced urbanization is about peasants in the suburbs of a city who are deprived of their land and are forced to become city people.    Ning Conghui  宁聪慧 and Wang Mingming 王明明 in “Building a Rural Social Security System During the Urbanization Process”  城市化进程中农村社会保障体系的构建  argue that the government needs to invest much more money in urbanizing peasant welfare so that peasants will have the financial, educational and other capital needed to make their transition to urban life.  [Note: This is a good article but be careful of the misprint in the first paragraph.  China’s urbanization rate in 1999 was 30.9% not 13%. Urbanization in China grows by just slightly under one percent annually.]

[摘 要] 随着中国城市化的发展,城乡居民的收入差距却逐渐拉大,一些制度性的不平等更加剧了城乡差距,其中城乡社会保障的差距是不容忽视的重要因素。城乡差距的扩大不利于中国城市化的健康发展。构建与现阶段社会经济发展水平相适应的农村社会保障体系是缩小城乡差距、加大对农村“反哺”力度的有效途径。新的农村社会保障体系应当包括农村养老保险、农村合作医疗、农村社会救助和农村教育扶持计划。加入农村教育扶持计划可以对政府的农村教育投入形成制度性的约束,以提高农村人口的受教育水平。

 

[关键词] 城市化;收入差距;农村社会保障体系

 一、城市化进程中农村社会保障的现状 改革开放以来,中国经济取得了突飞猛进的发展,特别是许多大中城市的发展更是迅猛,城乡差别逐渐拉大。城市中高质量的生活、高水平的工资、相对健全的社会保障体系、完善的公共基础设施吸引了一批又一批的农村居民涌入城市,使城市人口(特别是大城市人口)急剧增加。伴随着城市人口的增长,中国城市化水平从1999年的13.2%上升到目前的40%左右,中国现在已经处于城市化的加速发展时期(郑杭生,2002)。众所周知,中国属于典型的二元经济结构的国家,特别是建国以来实行的“以农养工”政策和奉行的“唯工业化”理论使中国的城乡差距逐渐拉大(见图1)。2000年以来,城乡居民收入之比逐渐拉大,2005年,城镇居民的人均可支配收入与农村居民的人均纯收入之比已达3.22∶1。中国城乡之间的基尼系数也逐渐拉大,据世界银行《2000年世界发展指标》统计,1998年中国城乡之间的基尼系数已达0.403。与此同时,一些制度性的不平等加剧了城乡之间的差别,农民的弱势地位逐渐显现。如果考虑水电、交通、文教卫生、社会保障等差别,城乡居民的收入差距实际已达6∶1左右,而世界上大多数国家仅为1.5∶1。在这些制度性的不平等中,城乡之间社会保障的差别最为显著。很多人认为,在经济体制市场化改革过程中,城乡居民间的社会保障的不公平格局不仅依然存在,而且还得到了一定程度的强化。城乡之间社会保障水平的不公平程度具体表现在以下三个方面。

 

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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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