China should manage the pace and quality of its inevitable urbanization, Premier Li Keqiang said at a recent conference with the nation's top scholars.
New challenges will certainly arise in urbanizing and modernizing, given the country's population of 1.3 billion, he said. And urbanization is a long process that cannot be completed overnight, he added.
"But we should be guided by ordinary people's hopes, and be active and orderly in pushing the process forward," he said.
Li invited more than a dozen experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering to Zhongnanhai, the central government complex. It was an apparent sign of his concern about advancing urbanization, which has emerged among his top policy priorities since he took office.
A medium- to long-term urbanization outline is expected to be announced after the 18th CPC Central Committee's third plenary session in November.
Chinese Academy of Engineering experts presented Li the results of interviews and questionnaires with young migrant workers.
The overwhelming majority of these people, born in the 1980s or '90s, are unwilling to return to their hometowns to farm. They want to remain in cities and become "real urbanites".
But most have not yet enjoyed equal access to social security, education and housing compared with people with urban hukou (household registration).