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National database to track marriages

By He Dan (China Daily)

09:11, July 25, 2012

Measure would also make it easier for couples to marry where they live

A new national database has been hailed as a major step toward allowing couples on the Chinese mainland to get married where they live, rather than where they have their permanent residence.

Until now, couples had to register their nuptials in the place where they hold hukou, or permanent household registration.

However, the database, which went into operation at the end of last month, will make it possible for people, including migrant workers, to file the paperwork anywhere, Yu Jianliang, director of social affairs for the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

"That is our ultimate goal," he said, "but it takes time to amend the laws and regulations to realize that goal."

The national database will connect databases in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and will store the marriage records of every citizen, which will help the government to better manage population information and prevent marital fraud, Yu said.

Starting this month, every marriage and divorce registered with civil affairs departments nationwide will be digitized and stored in the national database.

The civil affairs authorities will also speed up digitizing marriage status information of people whose marital information was recorded manually on paper on the Chinese mainland since 1949, Yu said.

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