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Hukou system denies right to 'die equal'

By Gui Tao (Xinhua)

09:42, February 06, 2013


Please read: Victims to get equal compensation

BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Although Chinese may be born equal, when they perish, they may be different in terms of how much they are worth.

A decedent's status within the two-tiered "hukou" system, which is used to determine a given person's right to public services like education and housing based on where they are registered to live, also determines how much compensation will be paid by the government to the victim's family. Urban residents tend to secure much more money than rural residents.

This is the sad reality in a country where differentiated compensation has a legal basis.

The hukou system itself has been heavily criticized in recent years. The latest controversy comes following an expressway bridge collapse that occurred in central China's Henan Province last week.

Hours after media reports were issued claiming that compensation for each victim with a rural hukou would be 220,000 yuan (35,000 U.S. dollars) less than the amount their urban counterparts would receive, the local officials promised "a single standard" in calculating the compensation.

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