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Residence rules to be further relaxed
By Ma Chenguang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-27 05:50

Deputy Minister of Public Security Liu Jinguo has disclosed that the country is to further loosen restrictions on the change of registered permanent residence from rural areas to medium-sized and large cities.

The China News Service reported yesterday that his ministry is busy outlining plans to abolish the term "rural residents" and "urban residents," and usher in a unified management system on permanent residence registration.

A legal dwelling place will be the basic prerequisite for a person to register for permanent residence, said Liu, also the deputy head of the Public Security Management Work Leading Group on Migrant Population under the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs.

He was speaking on Tuesday in Beijing at the second plenary session of the committee this year, which supervises the co-ordination work between the government's public security and justice agencies, and the court and public prosecuting bodies.

However, Liu did not specify whether or when the capital city Beijing which now has 14.92 million residents, including 3.599 million migrants will be put on the list of "large cities."

Currently, some small and medium-sized cities, and even some large cities, are luring outside residents for investment or trade with an offer of a "permanent residence registration."

Liu said the next step on managing migrant populations nationwide will be people-centred, meaning that relevant authorities should change their focus from merely "managing" to "managing and providing services."

China's migrant population most of whom move from rural areas to cities for work hit 140 million last year, according to a Xinhua report.

"A new model of management and service involving various sectors will come into being," Liu said.

He also called on local departments to write the migrant population issue into their economic and social development blueprints.

The government will be serious in tackling employment, residence, social security, public health and education problems for migrants, Liu said, adding that "it is imperative that we see a gradual equal-employment system developing between all residents."

(China Daily 10/27/2005 page2)

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