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China to Turn 200 Mln Migrant Workers into Urbanites

According to a report of China Business News, Chen Huai, director of the Centre for Policy Research under the Ministry of Construction, said on May 16 that in the coming 5 years, China would publish a series of policies to turn nearly 200 million migrant workers into urbanities.

It was learnt that in a common Chinese city, the proportion of workers from rural areas and other floating population to the city's permanent residents is around 20 percent to 30 percent at present. In developed regions, the ratio might be 3 to 4 times as high.

China's rural areas have 150 million to 200 million excess laborers who need to move to urban areas. At present, about 90 million of them are already living in cities.

Owing to China's current policies, the floating population does not take root in cities. While creating wealth where they work, they cannot really benefit from the economic development in urban areas. They cannot get the same social treatment or social security as local citizens, which widens the margin among different regions in terms of economic development level and also the gap between urban and rural areas in cities.

To solve the above problems, China is taking concrete measures such as lowering the threshold for migrant workers to get employed and become permanent residents in cities, respecting their liberties in choosing their jobs and their residence, attaching importance to and organizing vocational trainings to improve their quality, and helping them with their children's education, etc..

(China News Service May 19, 2006)

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