China will build around 1,000 towns with distinctive features in tourism, trade & logistics, modern manufacturing, education & technology, traditional culture, and livability by 2020, according to a circular issued on July 18.
The circular was jointly issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, National Development and Reform Commission, and Ministry of Finance.
The construction of distinctive towns should follow local conditions and set the direction based on resource strength and development potential, said the circular. The government should serve as a platform and service provider while allowing the market to play a leading role.
Zhang Xueqin, a senior official from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said that construction of the towns was an important way to coordinate urban and rural development, and should foster special industry patterns, enhance employment, improve rural infrastructure, and demonstrate local culture.
The National Development and Reform Commission and related ministries and departments will support qualified towns to apply for special construction funds, and outstanding ones may receive rewards from central finance, according to the circular.