Xin­jiang to end mi­grant card sys­tem

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By CUI JIA in Beijing andMAO WEIHUA in Urumqi

The Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion will abol­ish on Sun­day a reg­is­tra­tion card sys­tem in­tro­duced two years ago to bet­ter man­age the mi­grant pop­u­la­tion.

The mi­grant reg­is­tra­tion card sys­tem, in­tro­duced on May 1, 2014, was in­tended to pre­vent crim­i­nal sus­pects from leav­ing their home­towns to carry out vi­o­lent at­tacks else­where. How­ever, many peo­ple com­plained that the sys­tem cre­ated an in­con­ve­nience when they trav­eled, the re­gional gov­ern­ment said onWed­nes­day dur­ing a news con­fer­ence held in Urumqi, the re­gional cap­i­tal.

“We’ve no­ticed that many sus­pects in­volved in vi­o­lent in­ci­dents in Xin­jiang in 2013 were mi­grants,” said Zhang Xi­ucheng, deputy di­rec­tor of the re­gional pol­i­tics and law com­mit­tee.

Peo­ple who wanted to work or stay in other places in the re­gion were re­quired to ap­ply for the card at theirhome­towns and re­newthe card an­nu­ally.

“Dur­ing the past two years, the reg­is­tra­tion card sys­tem has en­sured that crim­i­nal sus­pects had nowhere to hide, and it helped to main­tain so­cial sta­bil­ity. But it did in­deed cause some prob­lems and in­con­ve­nience for peo­ple,” Wang Ming­shan, an­other deputy di­rec­tor of the pol­i­tics and law com­mit­tee, said at the news con­fer­ence.

In some places, it took too long to is­sue the card, which caused de­lays when peo­ple wanted to travel. And some­times peo­ple had to pay for the cards, which were sup­posed to be free, Wang said.

Omar Ali, 21, who is from south­ern Xin­jiang’s Kash­gar pre­fec­ture and has worked in a Uygur flat­bread shop in­Urumqi for two years, said: “I had to go home to re­new my reg­is­tra­tion card, even though I wanted to stay in­Urumqi and work. It might be a small thing, but it both­ers you all the time wher­ever you go. I am so happy to see the sys­tem go.”

Wang­saidXin­jiang will in­cor­po­rate the in­for­ma­tion on the mi­grant pop­u­la­tion into the na­tional ID card sys­tem in the fu­ture, adding that abol­ish­ing the reg­is­tra­tion card will help en­hance eth­nic unity.

Con­tact the writ­ers at cui­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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