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Limiting In-Flow of Migrants Unnecessary

A symposium conducted Tuesday in Shanghai argued that there are better ways to control the city's growing migrant population than setting quotas on the number of people allowed to move to the city from rural parts of China.

Delegates to the symposium on Shanghai's development say the city could move labor-intensive industries to other provinces, transfer commercial and residential areas to the suburbs, and reduce the wealth gap between Shanghai and its neighboring regions.

They reactions come via comments by Zhang Weiying, member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, made earlier this year, suggesting the capital should limit domestic immigration.

It doesn't make sense to restrict the in-flow of migrant workers for the sake of local development, when more effective and humane steps can control the rising migrant population, delegates said.

More than 150 scholars, governmental officials and sociologists participated in the symposium.

By the end of last year, Shanghai was home to 13.5 million registered residents and about 5 million long-term migrants - those that have been in the city for at least six months.

The symposium will send a list of suggestion on ways of dealing with the city's growing migrant population to local lawmakers.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2005)

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