The State Council unveiled the central government’s new guidelines concerning the planned reform of China’s hukou system - or household registration system - at a press conference on July 30, marking a new step in China’s urbanization drive.
The guidelines - approved by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee - were formulated by the Ministry of Public Security and other departments, and are an essential part of the reform.
“This is a guideline policy for household registration reform for the present and going forward. The adoption of the policy means that the reform has started to be fully implemented. It has taken over one year for the policy to be adopted. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the reform,” said Huang Ming, vice minister of public security.
“This is an overall adjustment to the household registration policy in line with the plan for a new type of urbanization. We will implement the policies in accordance with local conditions.”
Under the plan, China will completely remove restrictions concerning households in towns and small cities, gradually ease restrictions in mid-sized cities, and set reasonable conditions for people settling in big cities - while strictly controlling the population in megacities.
One of the government’s main goals is to help about 100 million people settle in towns and cities by 2020 - as the household registration system is phased out.
Yang Zhiming, vice minister of human resources and social security, said that services for migrant workers will be improved to facilitate their integration into the cities, including more training courses to teach new skills - so that migrants will have better job prospects.
Yang also said that about one third of migrant workers have already received government-subsidized skills training, and the government’s new programs aim to offer such training to a minimum of 20-million migrant workers each year.
By 2020, all migrant workers will receive training, with more becoming skilled workers such as technicians.
According to the guidelines, children of migrant workers will also enjoy equal rights to education.
Vice Minister of Education Liu Limin, said “local educational authorities are required to allocate funds to schools based on the number of students whose parents are migrant workers. Also, the central government will reward schools that accept children of migrant workers.”
The ministers also said the government will offer further assistance to migrants so they can enjoy equal access to services such as medical care and housing.