Premier: China to steadily advance reform of household registration system

16:42, December 27, 2009      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) smiles during an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency at Ziguangge building inside Zhongnanhai, an office compound of the Chinese central authorities at the heart of Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 27, 2009. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday China would advance the reform of its decades-long household registration system in a steady manner, in a bid to ensure migrant workers to have equal rights as city dwellers.

Those policies are also key to speeding up urbanization and boosting domestic consumption, Wen said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency.

Specific measures were still under study, but the government had figured out two priorities, said Wen.

"Those farmer-turned workers who have been living in cities with a stable income should be given priority," Wen said.

"Besides, the government will make up policies to encourage migrant workers to settle down in small and medium-sized towns and cities, considering the fact that big cities have limited capacities," Wen said.

Initiated in the 1950s, the household registration system has categorized Chinese citizens into urbanites and non-urbanites and thus prevented rural residents from migrating freely to cities.

Source: Xinhua
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