Chongqing’s Call to Urban Conversion
Caixin staff reporters Zhang Yanling and Zhang Tao cover Chongqing’s long-range plans to convert millions of rural residential permits (hukou) to urban ones:
In order to enjoy city resident treatment, applicants must give up their lands in the countryside. Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan uses a clothing metaphor to illustrate the process. The residents will “put on their city employment, social security, housing, education and healthcare clothes – five in total” and “take off their homestead, contract and forest land clothes – three in total.” Accordingly, local governments will offer compensation.
[...] Many experts believe that the success of Chongqing’s plan is subject to two factors: first, whether or not the city can absorb those moving people and offer appropriate treatment to new residents, and second, whether or not the 10 million farmers will choose to move to the city as the government hopes.
After the handover of the land, whether or not the city can afford to give new residents “five clothes” is questioned by many scholars and farmers. Previously, Zhengzhou and Shijiazhuang have experimented with similar household registration reform and found that their infrastructure, particularly schools, were insufficient to handle the large influx of people.