Chris Buckley, reporting for the New York Times about changes to China’s household registration policy, which has held restricted growth in many cities:
The government document released on Wednesday brought together commitments, some already announced, to steadily and selectively lift some of these barriers. Some cities have already made such changes, including formally erasing the division between urban and rural registration for local residents. But experts have said such changes do not mean much unless welfare, housing and other policies are also changed to overcome persistent inequalities.
In small cities with urban populations of up to one million, people with steady jobs and housing who meet requirements for welfare payments will be allowed to register as local residents. Similar rules will apply to larger cities, with stricter limits.
But the proposals say that for the biggest cities, with urban populations of five million or more, the number of newcomers must be stringently controlled, and a points system will be used to ration household registration opportunities.
So it’s not an out-and-out rewriting of hukou, but it’s almost certain to make cities more attractive to a broader swath of the population.