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Beijing Promises Better Services for Migrants
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China's capital Beijing has promised better services to ensure the 4 million migrants will enjoy the same rights and privileges as the locals in medication, children's education and family planning.

The migrant population, especially surplus rural laborers who have taken up non-agricultural jobs in Beijing, will be granted equal treatment as the locals, which will provide them with medical insurance and give their children equal access to schooling, the Beijing News reported Friday.

Migrant women will enjoy the same low-cost health checkups and medical services during pregnancy and childbearing, and their children will get free vaccination against major epidemic diseases, the metropolitan newspaper quoted Qiang Wei, deputy secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, as saying.

All these services will be provided to the migrants against their ID, a temporary residence card issued by the local public security bureau, it said.

"Beijing will set up a separate body for the management of the flowing population," said Qiang. "We'll step up management of, as well as upgrade services for the migrant millions. This is a key issue in Beijing's urban development."

To that effect, he said the new organization will also collaborate with other departments of the municipal government on researches and policymaking pertaining to the inflow of migrants and the city's capacity, overall planning, development and rational allocation of urban resources.

Beijing had more than 15 million residents at the end of 2005, including 11 million permanent residents -- or holders of Beijing's "hukou" (a permanent household registration card), and at least 4 million migrants, according to figures provided by the municipal government.

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2006)

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