China's migrant reforms will help economy

Dec. 28, 2009 at 8:19 AM
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BEIJING, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Premier Wen Jiabao says China will reform its household registration system to guarantee equal rights for migrant workers as they resettle in urban centers.

Since the 1950s, the system has categorized Chinese citizens as either urbanites or non-urbanites, and has not allowed rural people to migrate freely to urban areas, the Xinhua news agency said in an exclusive interview with Wen Sunday.

"Farmers-turned-workers who have been living in cities with a stable income are a priority. The government will create policies to encourage migrant workers to settle down in small and medium-sized towns and cities, as big cities have limited capacities," Wen said, adding that reform policies will help accelerate urbanization and raise domestic consumption.

Wen said migrant workers have made sacrifices for China's development in the past few years and the government has begun to study migrant worker issues.

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