BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese leaders stressed on Tuesday that development in urban and rural regions must be integrated and urbanization should be carried out in an orderly way.
Vice Premier Li Keqiang said that to solve problems and continue to advance a sustained, healthy development of the economy, the key is to speed up economic transformation, push for industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization in a synchronized way.
Li made the remarks while joining a panel discussion with lawmakers from east China's Shandong Province at the ongoing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature.
It was important to achieve coordinated development between urban and rural areas, the vice premier said.
He said urbanization and agricultural modernization are complementary to each other.
"We should improve the productivity of the countryside while enhancing the capacity of cities to accommodate people," he said.
"We must work harder to improve the livelihood of the people, and boost the living standards of urban and rural residents while pushing economic development," Li added.
Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said urbanization should be carried out in an active yet steady way to "orderly push forward the transition of the rural population into urban residents."
While joining the panel discussion with NPC deputies from central China's Hubei Province, Yu said the wills of farmers must be fully respected and no urbanization work should be carried out forcefully.
He said the country's industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization should be advanced in a synchronized way.
Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang also stressed that urban and rural development should be integrated and the rural-urban gap narrowed in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
While participating in the panel discussion of NPC deputies from east China's Zhejiang Province, Zhang said the development of rural areas and agriculture as well as raising incomes of farmers should not be neglected while emphasizing the development of cities and industries and wage increase of urban residents.
"The gap between rural and urban areas lies fundamentally in their development disparity," Zhang said.
Efforts must be made to realize the integrated development in urban and rural regions so as to narrow the urban-rural gap, Zhang said.