A new plan introduced by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council calls for redoubled efforts to reform the hukou or the household registration system.
According to the plan, the national social security public service platform will be improved, allowing people to register for hukou at the place they reside in.
For long, people have been registering for hukou where they were born. However, this system has been in place from a time when population flows between regions was limited.
Even after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, a majority of the people continued to reside where their hukou was registered.
However, in recent years, over 100 million migrant workers have been traveling between cities and the countryside, many of them buying houses and settling down in the cities where they work. But they cannot enjoy social services in the cities they reside in because their hukou binds them to the village they were born in or because their hukou is registered in another city.
That also becomes a social management problem. For example, when the novel coronavirus was raging in China last year, community workers lacked accurate information about how many people actually resided in a community, hampering virus prevention and control measures.
By allowing more people to register where they actually reside, the new plan will make social governance and daily lives of residents easier. The new principle will also help cities grow in a healthy manner. Cities need people to mobilize resources and consume them. And the more talents a city attracts, the better its future is.
By lowering the threshold for hukou registration and allowing more people to register where they reside, cities could attract more talents and in turn mobilize more resources to render better public service to everyone.