China Eases Residency Restrictions for Small and Medium-sized Cities

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The State Council has announced the dialling back of restrictions on residency in China’s small and medium-sized cities as part of ongoing efforts to overhaul the country’s urbanisation process.

The State Council has just released the “Notice Concerning the Implementation of Key Missions for Driving the Establishment of a New Model of Urbanisation in 2018” (关于实施2018年推进新型城镇化建设重点任务的通知), which states that the central government will continue to implement plans for the settlement in Chinese cities of 100 million people who currently lack urban household registration.

According to the Notice the central government will accelerate the pace of reform of China’s urban household registration system, as well as push for the permanent resettlement of certain segments of the rural population to the cities.

These population groups will include “the new generation of rural workers who are capable of steady employment and life in the cities,” rural Chinese who have resided for more than five years in cities with their families, as well as students and members of the military from rural backgrounds.

The notice also calls for the “comprehensive loosening of settlement restrictions in small and medium-sized cities.

Large cities will not be allowed to require that rural Chinese participate in urban social welfare schemes for more than five years to qualify for registration, while type-II large cities will be prohibited from implementing a points-based registration system, and certain cities will be required to further reduce the social welfare participation period.

Type-I large cities that implement points-based registration requirements must significantly reduce the weighting of social welfare and residency periods, and are encouraged to cancel annual residency volume restrictions.

The notice hopes that ongoing reforms will enable 13 million rural Chinese to settle in urban centres in 2018.

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