Hukou System in China Has Advantages
China has dealt with severe challenges for decades when they try to relocate, whether it is about finding a different job or school. They have what is called the Hukou system in which the government will register all households, and say where people may live, study, or work and have benefits. It is a tool used to control their geography and enforce apartheid rights. However, farmers do not have the same interests and powers as the ones from urban areas.
It is a maroon passbook that is like an internal passport that contains information about the marriages, births, divorces, and deaths per household, and the village or city where the person lives. Benefits like health care, pension, and education for free are more accessible if the person is living where they are registered. It makes it hard to buy a property if the hukou is wrong. The hukou system started in 1958 to let the Community Party gain control of China’s population to support the twin policies.
How it Works
The hukou system puts each Chinese citizen in a category whether they are an agricultural (rural) or non-agricultural (urban) holder.
Those who belong to the rural category are told to live in villages and towns; the urban ones are those who live in big cities. Each type has its rights.
The hukou is attached to their household registration. It can also be passed on to the next generation through inheritance.
Migrant workers can also acquire urban hukou if they can meet specific criteria. It is including the same level of educational attainment, expertise, entrepreneurship, and more. In larger cities, they have a more competitive labour market, so they have a more complicated process.
Benefits of the Hukou System
The municipal governments of China are granted a better autonomy when it comes to choosing quota and criteria for eligibility for converting hukou. However, megacities can control the size of their population and implement a stricter standard for giving a hukou.
- Hukou system promotes the free flow of labour, which brings a lot of economic benefits between 2016 to 2020. Total reformation of a registration system of the household might add 2% to the economic growth of China. It is because of the expansion of the labour market. It becomes possible because they allow and encourage more rural labourers to live and work in larger cities.
- Those who live in urban areas have preferential treatment, and they have better social benefits because their local government has more resources. They can access jobs that pay higher because they have an education. The preferential treatment calms the risk of having any major uprising that goes against the Communist Party.
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