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Zhejiang Province Starts Residence System Reform

(Editor’s Note: China has long implemented a Hukou system (户籍制度, meaning residence system) where a person is tied to a specific place and his social welfare benefits, including his children’s education, are all tied to that place. People who move to another city cannot enjoy certain public services in that city. Migrant workers are the worst off. They are tied to villages so, even if they live and work in a city, they are not eligible for the city’s benefits and even their children are not allowed to attend the public schools in the city.)

China National Radio reported that the Zhejiang provincial government recently began to reform the province’s Residence system. The administration issued an implementation plan to promote the integration of migrant workers into urban life. It calls for removal of the hukou restrictions throughout the entire province except for in the province’s capital city of Hangzhou. The move aims to attract more qualified labor to the province. This could be seen as Zhejiang’s efforts to mitigate the shortage of young labor in China as the country’s population ages.

The article said that the initiative is expected to have a positive impact on Zhejiang’s economic growth, population structure, urbanization level, and equality of public services, providing valuable experience that can be replicated across the country.

Source: China National Radio, July 19, 2023