BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Curbing the explosive growth of its population will be a top priority for the Beijing municipal government, Mayor of the Chinese capital Wang Anshun has said.
"To resolutely control the population's excessive growth is the key to solving multiple problems, such as traffic and environmental problems," said Wang on Sunday at a session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing committee.
Beijing will give full play to the restructuring of industries and upgrading of service industries to slow down population growth, he added.
Since 2000, Beijing's permanent population has increased by an average of nearly 600,000 annually to reach 20.69 million at the end of 2012, far exceeding the previously planned target of keeping the population at 18 million by 2020.
The population of Beijing is about 2.6 times that of London and 2.5 times that of New York. The metropolis faces traffic jams, strained resources supply, and environmental pollution.
Beijing's population growth has seen a downward trend since 2011.Permanent residents in Beijing increased by 507,000 in the one-year period since the end of 2011.