China’s rural urbanization and the state: Putting the countryside first?

Elena Meyer-Clement*, Jesper Willaing Zeuthen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch

4 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2014, under the policy of ‘new-type urbanization’ (新型城镇化), Xi Jinping’s government has worked towards a more sustainable form of urbanization. One important aspect of this policy shift is a more balanced development between cities and rural areas, which is intended to improve the living conditions of both rural migrants in the cities and the rural population in the countryside. These goals are not new. For example, political attempts to stimulate small town development reach back into the 1980s. Over the last decade, however, the degree and comprehensiveness of party-state control of urbanization in the countryside have clearly increased. Against the backdrop of the latest policy developments, this special issue of China Information examines how the politics of ‘rural urbanization’ has changed in China and what the implications of these changes are for rural governance and the rural population. The term rural urbanization refers to the different processes and practices of urbanization that affect areas and people classified by the state as rural. The articles trace these processes in rural and peri-urban areas as well as among rural migrants in Chinese cities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChina Information
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


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