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The cap­i­tal has started is­su­ing cer­tifi­cates to qual­i­fied non-lo­cals, end­ing a more than 30-year pol­icy of tem­po­rary ‘stay cards’

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By DUJUAN dujuan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Prospec­tive buy­ers at­tend a real es­tate trade fair in Chengdu, cap­i­tal of Sichuan prov­ince, on Mon­day. Peo­ple will be al­lowed to pur­chase only one prop­erty in cer­tain ar­eas of the city, while those buy­ing a se­cond prop­erty will need to make a down pay­ment of no less than 40 per­cent of the pur­chase price, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment said.

On Oct 1, as part of the re­form of China’s res­i­dency sys­tem, Bei­jing be­gan is­su­ing res­i­dence cer­tifi­cates, end­ing the 31-year pol­icy of tem­po­rary “stay cards” for res­i­dents with­out a Bei­jing hukou.

On Satur­day morn­ing, a res­i­dent of Shi­ji­azhuang, cap­i­tal of He­bei prov­ince sur­named Zhang, vis­ited a po­lice sta­tion in the Xicheng district and handed in an ap­pli­ca­tion form along with his ID ma­te­ri­als, ac­cord­ing to re­port by China Na­tional Ra­dio.

The en­tire process took about 15 min­utes and in 15 days, Zhang may be among the first group of peo­ple to ob­tain a Bei­jing res­i­den­tial cer­tifi­cate un­der the new­pol­icy.

For many years, ci­ti­zens’ rights were re­lated to hukou, the gov­ern­ment sys­tem of house­hold reg­is­tra­tion which of­fi­cially iden­ti­fies a per­son as a res­i­dent of a spe­cific area.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments in prov­inces or cities in cer­tain ar­eas pro­vide dif­fer­ent rights to ci­ti­zens, based on whether they have hukou. For many years, the Bei­jing mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment is­sued tem­po­rary res­i­dence cer­tifi­cates to peo­ple with­out hukou who were study­ing, work­ing or liv­ing in the Chi­nese cap­i­tal to make their stay more con­ve­nient.

How­ever, peo­ple with­out hukou still faced in­con­ve­niences in ob­tain­ing hos­pi­tal treat­ment, ap­ply­ing for driver's li­censes and ben­e­fit­ing from so­cial se­cu­rity in­sur­ance.

To help peo­ple such as these to bet­ter en­joy the city’s pub­lic ser­vices, the Bei­jing gov­ern­ment de­cided to start is­su­ing res­i­dence cer­tifi­cates to re­place the tem­po­rary stay cards.

Zhang Chewei, head of the In­sti­tute of Pop­u­la­tion and La­bor Eco­nom­ics at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences, said the new­pol­icy is a big step to­ward pro­vid­ing equal pub­lic ser­vice to all res­i­dents of the city.

“Even though the ones who get the res­i­dence cer­tifi­cate still can’t ob­tain ex­actly the same ser­vices com­pared with lo­cal ci­ti­zens, the new sys­tem has al­ready pro­vided more key ser­vices com­pared with the old one,” he said.

Un­der the pol­icy, peo­ple who have stayed in Bei­jing for more than six months can ap­ply for the res­i­dence cer­tifi­cate, but they will have to meet one of three con­di­tions: He or she must have a sta­ble job for the fol­low­ing six months at least, or have a sta­ble place of res­i­dence for more than six months or be study­ing at of­fi­cial schools or in­sti­tu­tions in the city.

The new sys­tem has al­ready pro­vided more key ser­vices com­pared with the old one.”

Zhang Chewei, head of the In­sti­tute of Pop­u­la­tion and La­bor Eco­nom­ics at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences

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