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As various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have proposed to fully liberalize residency restrictions (some provinces do not include provincial capital cities), the “freedom of residency” of my country’s population has once again been upgraded.
In mid-June, the Kunming City Urban-Rural Integration Special Team Office issued the “Key Points for Kunming’s New Urbanization and Urban-Rural Integration Development in 2021”, proposing measures such as comprehensively liberalizing settlement restrictions, improving the skills and quality of agricultural transfer populations, and improving supporting policy systems. Promote the orderly and effective integration of agricultural migrants into cities.
A few days before that, the Hubei Provincial Development and Reform Commission issued the “Key Points for the Province’s New Urbanization and Urban-Rural Integration Development in 2021”, proposing to eliminate restrictions on settlement in other areas of the province outside Wuhan, and further lower the threshold for settlement in Wuhan.
This means that at least 15 provinces in my country have proposed to fully liberalize residence restrictions. Among them, Shijiazhuang, Kunming, Nanchang, Yinchuan, Fuzhou, and Jinan have become the first movers of the “zero threshold” for settlement.
Wang Taiyuan, a professor at the People’s Public Security University of China, told the 21st Century Business Herald that with the further development of the market economy, with the exception of the cities in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen where the national policy clearly states to appropriately restrict settlements, there is no need for other provincial capitals to strictly restrict hukou migration. “Right now, it’s just that some provincial capitals are moving faster and moving a little faster. Some provincial capitals are watching, but in the end they will all need to be adjusted.”
Fully liberalize and settle in multiple provinces
In 2014, the State Council issued the “Opinions on Further Promoting the Reform of the Household Registration System” (hereinafter referred to as the “Opinions”), proposing to further promote the reform of the household registration system and implement the relaxed household registration policy.
The specific development goal is to basically establish a new household registration system that is compatible with building a well-off society in an all-round way by 2020, effectively supports social management and public services, protects civil rights in accordance with the law, and strives to achieve a new household registration system that is people-oriented, scientific, efficient, and orderly. The migrant population from agriculture and other permanent residents settled in cities and towns.
The release of the “Opinions” opened the prelude to the full liberalization and settlement of many provinces in my country.
In June 2014, Guizhou Province proposed that, in order to effectively promote the citizenization of the agricultural transfer population, except for the Nanming District, Yunyan District, Guanshan Lake District and Guiyang Economic and Technological Development Zone in Guiyang City to implement points for outdoor use, other areas in Guizhou Province will be fully released. Restrictions on opening an account.
In November of the same year, the Sichuan Provincial Government issued the “Implementation Plan for Further Promoting the Reform of the Household Registration System in Sichuan Province”, which fully lifted the restrictions on settlement in large, medium and small cities and organized towns except Chengdu. In August 2016, Sichuan’s “Notice on Strengthening and Regulating Population Registration Management” proposed that all localities should refine and introduce local household registration system reform plans and related supporting measures before the end of 2016 to ensure “zero threshold” for entering the city.
In 2017, Heilongjiang Province proposed that, at the same time, the restrictions on settlement in all cities except Harbin Daoli, Daowai, Nangang, and Xiangfang should be fully lifted.
“The “Opinions” established a gradual, phased, and planned relaxation of the household registration policy. In the past five or six years, my country has been steadily promoting the relaxation of the household registration policy in accordance with this regulation. In the past few years, there were almost no provincial capitals or major capitals. Prefecture-level cities have liberalized restrictions on account migration, but in recent years there have been more and more.” Wang Taiyuan said.
Since 2019, the full liberalization and settlement of all provinces has once again ushered in a wave of “climax”, which is marked by the “Key Tasks for New Urbanization Construction in 2019” (hereinafter referred to as “Key Tasks”) issued by the National Development and Reform Commission.
The “Key Tasks” proposes to continue to intensify the reform of the household registration system. On the basis that small and medium-sized cities and small towns with a permanent population of less than 1 million in urban areas have successively cancelled the settlement restrictions, the urban permanent population of 1 to 3 million type II large cities Restrictions on settlement must be completely lifted; Type I large cities with a permanent population of 3 to 5 million in urban areas must fully open up the conditions for settlement.
In 2019, Inner Mongolia, Hainan, Guangxi and others have proposed full liberalization and settlement. Since 2020, Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan and other places have also proposed full liberalization and settlement. With the addition of Jiangxi, Jilin, Yunnan, Qinghai, Ningxia and other provinces, there are currently 15 provinces that have proposed full liberalization and settlement.
Population competition “escalated”
Why have all provinces loosened restrictions on population settlement?
Sun Bushu, vice president of the South China Urban Research Association, said that in addition to policy promotion, my country’s economic development has entered a new stage. This is an important reason why provinces have changed from exclusion to absorbing the registered population.
“It costs a non-registered population to convert to a registered population, because it needs to provide corresponding infrastructure and public services, such as the configuration of roads, schools, and hospitals. This is why the household registration policy has not been liberalized for many years.” Sun Unfamiliar said, “But now a fundamental change has taken place in the way of thinking everywhere. In the past, economic growth was mainly dependent on investment, but now consumption is driving the economy more and more obvious. Therefore, when a person comes to a city, more They are regarded as new consumers and have a positive impact on the economy.”
Wang Taiyuan believes that the transformation of a rural population into an urban population is not completed in a day, but after working and living in the local area, it is transformed into an urban population. In this process, he has made a lot of contributions to the local city. All the migrants who work and live in the city add value to the city’s finances.
“From a global perspective, in the process of urbanization in the past three to four hundred years, no city has stimulated the development and growth of cities not because of the influx of population, and cities that rely on government finances to grow bigger basically do not exist.” Wang Taiyuan said.
Another direct factor is the “upgrading” of my country’s population competition, especially with the deepening of aging, the city’s demand for young migrants is increasing.
Sun Bushu pointed out that taking Hubei Province to open up other cities to settle in and lower the threshold for settlement in Wuhan as an example, behind this is that Hubei Province’s population growth rate in the Seventh Census is average, and the total population of Wuhan is surpassed by Xi’an and Zhengzhou.
“I have always emphasized that the future population competition is a competition that all cities will participate in, and the breadth and depth of the competition will increase. This is no longer the same as the competition within the province or the region before.” Sun Bushu said, ” After the liberalization of competition, in addition to large cities, if small and medium-sized cities want to achieve population growth, otherwise they need to be cities within the metropolitan area, or they need to do a good job in their industries.”
It is worth noting that some provincial capitals have also become “vanguards” in full liberalization and settlement. As early as 2019, Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province, proposed to fully liberalize the restrictions on settlement in urban areas and towns to achieve “zero threshold” for settlement.
In 2020, Yunnan Province proposes to fully liberalize the household registration policy in urban areas of the province, and remove restrictions on settlement in the main urban area of Kunming.
Also in 2020, Nanchang proposed to completely abolish the insured period, residence period, academic qualifications and other restrictions on moving in for settled in the urban area of Nanchang City. The application shall be mainly applied by the masses and no other conditions shall be attached. People in the same household can relocate at the same time. “Zero threshold” access policy.
In addition, Jinan, Fuzhou, and Yinchuan also proposed in 2020 to fully liberalize the restrictions on settlement and achieve “zero threshold” for settlement.
Wang Taiyuan pointed out that if the provincial capital cannot expand its talent team and population as soon as possible, it will be difficult to become the center of local politics, economy and culture, and it will not have radiation and influence, and it will not be able to drive the development of surrounding areas. Therefore, since 2015, many provincial capitals have been vigorously attracting talents, relaxing and even liberalizing restrictions on account migration.