Jiangxi News
Chinese Official Warns of Excessive "Empty Cities"

NANCHANG, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Reckless expansion of cities in China has left many of them empty, according to a Chinese economic planning official.

Qiao Runling, deputy director of the China Center for Urban Development under the National Development and Reform Commission, said local governments had relied on quick urbanization to stimulate economic growth and generate fiscal revenue.

"Nearly every big or medium-sized city across China has plans to erect a new town," Qiao said, quoting the result of his research at a forum on urban development held in Jiangxi Province this week.

According to the official, new towns are usually bigger than old ones and many cities are left empty as a result.

"China now has an oversupply of cities, given the number of new urban districts that we have," Qiao said, adding that the excess of new urban districts are especially serious in medium and small-sized cities in central and western parts of the country.

Qiao warned that China's modern urbanization should no longer be bolstered by investment or construction projects but focus on structural reform.

Official statistics showed that land used for urban construction rose by 83.41 percent from 2000 to 2010, while the urban population saw an increase of 45.12 percent in the period.