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China’s Success in the Urbanization Process Essay

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Updated: Mar 23rd, 2020

Johnson’s article China Rethinks Urbanization It’s New Plan Is a Big Policy Overhaul introduces several interesting and educational ideas on how the New Urbanization Plan in China may and should be implemented. It turns out to be evident that certain technological, economic, and social achievements are hard to avoid; this is why the question of urbanization is a matter of time.

The Chinese should be ready for certain improvements and sacrifices if needed, and Chinese leaders have to think over the reforms that can help to realize the plan and promote the required development. The current paper aims at reflecting and analyzing the article to comprehend the reasons of why the challenges appear during the process of urbanization when it is so important for the society and becomes a crucial point in the development of the international relations.

Urbanization is the process that cannot be avoided in such a huge country like China, and Johnson’s article is a good evidence of how the urbanization plan may be implemented and used as a powerful reason for a complete overhaul of the country with its challenges like labor mobility, local governmental financing, and land control as well as some environmental challenges and the necessity to consider the planning codes.

The article under evaluation begins with a clear introduction of its main topic, the National New-Style Urbanization Plan that has been already released in 2014 and proved that the currently developing Chinese cities continue promoting the country’s economy on the high levels. Still, there are certain limitations of the plan according to which the necessity of the big policy overhaul is identified.

The plan is regarded as a “part of a gradual but significant shift in planning practice in China” (Johnson 30). The concept of Chinese urbanization has a dual nature: on the one hand, it touches upon some social and economic problems, and, on the other hand, it deals with the environmental sphere that influences the quality of life, so cherished by the Chinese.

The article proves that the success of the plan implementation depends considerably on the government of the country and its abilities to control the situation. Levy defines it as “autocratic, repressive in the realm of ideas… and political disagreement, and yet, accepting of a great deal of economic freedom – has been spectacularly successful as an engine of economic growth” (416).

This is why the government should not be regarded as a weak point but as one of the possible solutions of the urban plan implementation. The work of the government should be focused on the identification of the challenges and search for the most appropriate solutions that can help to prove that China is the country that is ready for any kind of improvement within a short period of time. Johnson underlines that the urbanization process may be successfully ended till 2020 (34).

There are four main challenges identified by the author in the article about the urbanization plan in Chinese cities: labor mobility, caused by the use of the hukou system, land control that deprives real estate developers of the opportunities to make money, local governmental finance, based on poor property tax conditions, and certain environmental challenges that influence the quality of life. It is not for the author to enumerate the challenges and underline their impact on the urbanization process.

Johnson wants to explain how each challenge affects the plan and what kind of measures may be taken to improve the situation. For example, he admits that certain steps to eliminate the hukou system have been taken. According to this system, “rural residents may move to the cities to find work, but it’s hard for them to settle permanently because their registered residence stays in the countryside” (Johnson 33). Still, it is possible to break local governments and cover the costs to make an attempt and improve the basis of the urban plan.

The other two challenges based on land control and the inability to control local governmental financing. The point is that it is too expensive to sell real estate, but it is cheap to hold it. Nowadays, workers have to follow the established norms and land rights according to which they are deprived of a number of possibilities in case they move to the city. The article becomes a good example of how the government tries to solve the problem and introduce new ideas that can be implemented.

However, the author of the article does not want to pay much attention to the environmental problems that play an important role in modern society. He does mention the existence of the challenge: certain air and water pollutants caused by the rapid urbanization influence considerably the quality of life. Nevertheless, there is not much information on how the government is going to solve this kind of problems while implementing the urbanization plan.

Finally, it is stated in the article that the plan under consideration is going to take on the physical model of development (Johnson 33). The urbanization process requires the improvement of the quality and efficiency of the cities; this is why it is very important to consider the planning codes. Unfortunately, these codes remain to be a huge problem for the cities’ representatives as they it is very hard to change them at the necessary level.

Planning codes are created to protect public health, comfort, and general welfare. When some changes are necessary for the city, its planning code has to be changed accordingly. People do not pay much attention to this fact; this is why several further problems with the organization of the city’s work may take place. The article demonstrates that the Chinese government is not going to take considerable measures in regards to the urbanization process unless the leaders are not sure of the quality of the current planning codes.

In general, the article written by Johnson is a successful source of information about how China is getting ready for any possible changes and challenges which may take place during the urbanization process. The New Urbanization Plan introduced by the government is a crucial point in the development of the country. It proves that the country is ready for new improvements; still, it is necessary to have a deal with all current problems and challenges.

The necessity of household registration, land control, and inability to gain control over the governmental financing are the challenges of the process. In addition, environmental problems have to be taken into account as the urban style of life defines the quality of life that cannot be neglected by the Chinese. The plan under analysis is closely connected to the Chinese economy, however, it misses certain detailed regulations and law enforcement.

People have the right to choose where they want to live, in a city or in a country. The Chinese government demonstrates the care of its people, and the implementation of the plan, discussed in Johnson’s article, is a powerful proof and explanation of what kind of improvements and changes should be expected. The author’s references to different researchers and politicians make the article a credible source of information and prove that the chosen issue is worth considering at different levels.

Works Cited

Johnson, Donald. “China Rethinks Urbanization Its New Plan Is a Big Policy Overhaul.” Planning 80.10. (2014): 30-35. Print.

Levy, John, M. Contemporary Urban Planning. New York, NY: Pearson, 2012. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "China's Success in the Urbanization Process." March 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-sciences-chinas-success-in-the-urbanization-process/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'China's Success in the Urbanization Process'. 23 March.

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