Le nouveau visage urbain de la Chine

PEKIN – Près de 100 millions de Chinois vivent dans une pauvreté extrême et près de 275 millions d'entre eux dépensent moins de 2 dollars par jour. L'écrasante majorité des pauvres habite les zones rurales de la Chine. La majorité d'entre eux espère y trouver une vie meilleure dans les villes, où des emplois mieux rémunérés sont plus faciles à trouver. En effet, durant ces 35 dernières années, un demi-milliard de Chinois se sont déjà déplacés, ce qui a entraîné une augmentation de la proportion urbaine de la population nationale de moins de 20% en 1980 à 50% aujourd'hui. En 2030, 70% des Chinois devraient vivre dans les villes.

L'urbanisation de la Chine a sans aucun doute favorisé la croissance impressionnante du pays et sa rapide mutation économique. Ses villes ont fourni des terrains bon marché et une main-d'œuvre abondante, où les administrations locales ont souhaité attirer les investisseurs et créer des emplois.

Mais des tensions commencent à se faire sentir. Le modèle de croissance de la Chine, axé sur les investissements et les exportations, est en train de s'essouffler. L'expansion urbaine tentaculaire et les embouteillages s'intensifient, ce qui alimente des troubles chez les agriculteurs qui se sentent insuffisamment dédommagés pour la perte de leurs terres, qui représente une garantie vitale pour la dette du gouvernement local (qui s'élève actuellement à 30% du PIB).

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