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Rural migrants work in a sweatshop in urban China

Young people enjoy a barbecue under a bridge on the outskirts of a southwestern Chinese megapolis.

China is hoping by relocating farmers into cities they would start to buy food, making a break from the cycle of farmers consuming only what they produce.

China is pushing ahead with a dramatic, history-making plan to move 100 million rural residents into towns and cities between 2014 and 2020 — but without a clear idea of how to pay for the gargantuan undertaking or whether the farmers involved want to move.

Moving farmers to urban areas is touted as a way of changing China’s economic structure, with growth based on domestic demand for products instead of exporting them. In theory, new urbanites mean vast new opportunities for construction firms, public transportation, utilities and appliance makers.

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Young people enjoy a barbecue under a bridge on the outskirts of a southwestern Chinese megapolis.<br />
<br />
China is hoping by relocating farmers into cities they would start to buy food, making a break from the cycle of farmers consuming only what they produce.<br />
<br />
China is pushing ahead with a dramatic, history-making plan to move 100 million rural residents into towns and cities between 2014 and 2020 — but without a clear idea of how to pay for the gargantuan undertaking or whether the farmers involved want to move.<br />
<br />
Moving farmers to urban areas is touted as a way of changing China’s economic structure, with growth based on domestic demand for products instead of exporting them. In theory, new urbanites mean vast new opportunities for construction firms, public transportation, utilities and appliance makers.