Beijing core districts expected to see population decline

Updated: 2016-07-19 08:00


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BEIJING -- The number of permanent residents in six core districts in Beijing is expected to drop for the first time this year, as the overcrowded capital seeks to control population growth.

Officials of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan districts proposed goals and measures to limit population growth at a meeting on the removal of non-essential functions from Beijing, held Thursday.

The measures include crackdowns on subletting of residential and commercial property, illegal use of underground space for residence, illegal transformation of homes into shops, and closure of wholesale markets, among others.

In Dongcheng district,for example, the Donghuamen snacks market has been recently closed. Nanluoguxiang Lane, known for its well-preserved quadrangle courtyards, and Gui Jie, a street of popular restaurants, and areas surrounding the Palace Museum will be among priority areas where measures will be taken to reduce the population density.

The district aims to reduce its permanent resident population by 32,000 this year.

Beijing plans to cap its permanent population at 23 million by 2020, with the population in six core districts 15 percent less than 2014 levels.

Defined as people who have lived in the city for six months or more, the permanent population of Beijing was 21.7 million by the end of 2015.