How the Hukou System Distorts Reality – Wu Zhong

From Asia Times:

The outdated hukou system has increasingly become one of the major obstacles to attaining social harmony in today’s China.

China began to enforce the system in 1953, shortly after the Communist Party came to power upon winning a civil war against the Kuomintang. A major purpose was to facilitate the implementation of a Stalinist-style socialist command economy. The rationale was that production was to meet the needs of the people rather than to seek profits. Overproduction was evil…

It is ridiculous that such a system should remain largely intact despite the fundamental changes to both the economy and society that have been brought by economic reform and opening up over the past nearly three decades. Today, Chinese citizens, including rural residents, are free both to travel and to migrate across the country – but they are still not allowed to change their registration easily. [Full text]

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