Posts tagged ‘Guizhou’

12/07/2015

13 Million Guangdong Migrants Could Gain Permanent Residence By 2020 – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Faced with a persistent influx of rural workers, China’s most populous province plans to allow more migrant residents to settle permanently in its cities, in its latest effort to ease decades-old curbs on rural-urban migration.

Under new guidelines published this week, Guangdong authorities aim to grant local household registration to roughly 13 million migrant workers by 2020, allowing them to access public services—spanning housing, health-care, social security and education—that are typically reserved for urban residents.

Guangdong has often taken the lead in efforts to liberalize the hukou system, a national household-registration regime that curbs rural-urban migration by tying benefits like health care and pensions to a person’s place of birth. Experts say the system forces many rural migrants to live as second-class citizens in urban areas, aggravating social inequality while fueling tensions between locals and outsiders.

Hukou reforms are a pressing matter for Guangdong, a southern Chinese manufacturing hub that hosts the country’s largest transient population. Among its roughly 110 million residents, more than 24 million are migrants from other regions, while another 10.6 million have relocated within the province.

“Reforming the household-registration system will speed up our province’s urbanization process, and facilitate the coordinated development of the Pearl River Delta region,” Peng Hui, deputy director-general of Guangdong’s public security department, told a news briefing this week.

As part of the reforms, provincial officials will aim to “equalize” the provision of public services and ensure “balanced” economic development between rural and urban areas, according to the new guidelines.

China has used the hukou system since the 1950s to keep people from moving to the cities and forming the sort of slums that plague other developing nations. In recent decades, however, rural migrants have increasingly bucked the system to seek better opportunities in urban areas, without approval to live there.

Beijing, for its part, has since changed tack and pushed to urbanize its population of nearly 1.4 billion people, of which about 45% still in live in rural areas. But experts say the government must speed up its dismantling of the hukou system, warning that social tensions could fester and even boil over in the coming decade as China’s “floating population” of more than 250 million continues to expand.

Last year, Beijing pledged some changes to the hukou system, with restrictions to be lifted first in small towns. More stringent requirements will remain on those who want to live in larger cities, which are generally more attractive to migrants.

 

Guangdong’s plan follows a similar approach. Provincial officials say they plan to “fully liberalize” settlement rules in small, county-level cities and so-called “administratively designated towns,” where migrants with legal and stable places of residence will be allowed to apply for permanent residency.

via 13 Million Guangdong Migrants Could Gain Permanent Residence By 2020 – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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08/05/2015

For returning migrant workers, a changed and desolate homeland|Society|chinadaily.com.cn

As the first wave of Chinese migrant workers return to live in their hometowns, they may find that life has changed dramatically from when they first left, a PhD student in Shanghai University revealed in his journal published in The Paper.

For returning migrant workers, a changed and desolate homeland

Rural areas tend to evoke empty villages where the working population has left, but the fact is that more and more middle-aged migrant workers are coming back home in recent years, said Wang Leiguang, a native of Luotian county of Hubei province who impressed readers with his “Journal of returning to hometown” during the Spring Festival.

Ever since China’s reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, waves of farmers left their land and worked in cities, where they could enjoy higher incomes but faced various disadvantages.

After working in cities for decades, they feel tired and no longer welcome in the city. Most of them have built new houses in their hometowns and have some savings. More importantly, they have to look after their grandchildren, as Wang elaborated in his article.

The year-on-year growth rate in the number of migrant workers has been declining since 2010, said a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics in late April. Since 2004, China has encountered a continuous labor shortage and many migrant workers aged above 50 have returned to their hometowns, as Wang has noticed in his hometown, Luotian.

However, returning home doesn’t mean a return to farming. Since most young laborers moved to the cities, the remote farmlands have become wastelands no one wants to reclaim. Meanwhile machines have replaced manual work in the remaining farms. Even so, many don’t really care about the harvest and some even give up their land.

City life has apparently estranged them from the farmland.

Meanwhile, the pace of urbanization in China during the past 25 years has seen the decline of many villages. As people have drifted away to urban areas, the countryside has become stripped of community and culture.

Unlike twenty years ago when villagers could enjoy various activities such as temple fairs, outdoor movies and opera performances, there are almost no cultural activities these days, as rural people left for cities to find better-paid jobs. When those migrant workers return, they find that villagers have less contact with each other, even between neighbors. Most of them stay at home watching TV.

Rural life is lonely and dull. Wang described the common sight of an old man or woman sitting in the sun at the gate every day, greeting acquaintances when they pass by, as if waiting for death to come.

Increasing social bonds may be a solution to fight the alienation in the countryside, Wang suggested. He found that villagers communicated more and felt happier during their efforts to build a road.

Zhou Jinming, an agricultural official with the Yulin government of Shaanxi province, suggested that the government should focus on supporting large villages by improving conditions, such as setting up libraries and clinics.

via For returning migrant workers, a changed and desolate homeland|Society|chinadaily.com.cn.

16/02/2015

Li gives residents keys to ‘new life’|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn

The set of keys that Xiao Wenmei received from Premier Li Keqiang opens up not only her new apartment but her future.

Li gives residents keys to 'new life'

Li visited the newly finished Yu’an community in Guiyang, Guizhou province, and helped distribute keys to the new apartments on Saturday.

“Have you seen your new apartment?” Li asked as he handed keys to Xiao. “It is not only the key to your home but also to your new life.”

He then posted a fu character, a traditional Chinese paper cutting for Spring Festival, at the community’s main office.

“A new community is not only about building new houses but also about people’s new lives, so they can live in a comfortable and safe environment,” he said.

Xiao, 32, was still excited as she recalled the moment she received the keys from the premier. She said her family is busy preparing to move into the new apartment before Chinese New Year’s Eve “as a good start of the year”.

She has lived with her husband and kids in a nearby village, where houses leaked and roads became muddy during rainstorms. The local government invested 3 billion yuan ($481 million) in 2009 to build 8,500 apartments for 5,000 households in Xiao’s community.

Xiao’s family was allotted two apartments, about 300 square meters, as were some other families.

“We’ll move into one apartment and rent the other out,” she said. “A new house is like a big dream for my family.”

The Chinese government has counted heavily on the rebuilding of urban shantytowns to drive domestic demand and improve people’s living conditions.

via Li gives residents keys to ‘new life’|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn.

15/07/2014

Apple Manufacturer Foxconn Goes Green in China’s Guizhou – Businessweek

Guizhou may be one of China’s poorest and least developed provinces. But the flip side is an environment so pristine that President Xi Jinping recently joked its air should be bottled.

Terraced fields of rice paddies are farmed on June 4, 2013, in Jinping county, Guizhou province, China

Now, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group (2317:TT), the world’s largest consumer electronics producer, with more than a million employees working in 30-some industrial parks across China, has set its sights on backward but beautiful Guizhou.

The maker of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and iPhone and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) servers is building an industrial park in China’s southwest, seemingly worlds away from its massive and gritty Shenzhen manufacturing base, that aims to be state of the art in energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Set among karst hills on the outskirts of Guiyang, the provincial capital, the 500-acre park will keep about 70 percent of the natural vegetation undisturbed.

via Apple Manufacturer Foxconn Goes Green in China’s Guizhou – Businessweek.

02/05/2014

Freedom of information: Right to know | The Economist

IN THE summer of 2013 Wu Youshui sent an open government information (OGI) request to every provincial-level government in China. Mr Wu, a lawyer based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, wanted to know about the fines imposed on violators of the one-child policy. Each year provincial governments collect billions of yuan from couples who have too many children, but how this money is spent is not public knowledge. That leaves the system vulnerable to corruption, says Mr Wu. To expose misconduct and spur public debate, he used the legal mechanism of the OGI regulations, China’s version of a freedom of information act.

When the regulations took effect in 2008 it marked, on paper at least, the beginning of a profound change in how the Chinese government handles some kinds of information. A culture of secrecy had for decades been the mainstay of the authoritarian state. But in the modern era absolute opacity can cause discontent that threatens stability. The government’s failure to disclose information about the spread of SARS, a respiratory disease, in 2003 hurt its standing at home and abroad. A government operating in “sunshine”, as state media have put it, could regain citizens’ trust and, the party hoped, help ease tensions.

The OGI regulations set up two ways of accessing government information. Government offices at local and central level had to issue findings of interest, such as plans for land requisitions or house demolition. The information was to be published on official websites and community bulletin boards and in government journals. Departments also became answerable to citizens. A response to a public request had to come within 15 days. This created a new way for people to contact and monitor the government, says Jamie Horsley of the China Law Centre at Yale Law School. At the last nationwide count, in 2011, roughly 3,000 requests had been filed to central-government departments and 1.3m others to offices at the provincial level. Over 70% led to the full or partial release of information, on everything from pollution to food safety to the tax on air fares. “It is as if there has been a pent-up demand and now people are pushing for the information,” Ms Horsley says.

In an important case in 2012 the All-China Environment Federation, a non-profit organisation with links to the government, took an environment-protection bureau in Guizhou province to court. The bureau had twice failed to give a good answer to an OGI request about a dairy farm that was discharging waste. The court ordered the release of the information within ten days. Such rulings against government departments, once rare, are becoming more common. In 2010 the chance of a citizen winning an OGI-related lawsuit in Beijing was 5%, according to research from Peking and Yale Universities. In 2012 courts ruled with the plaintiff in 18% of cases.

On April 1st the State Council, China’s cabinet, issued new guidelines, requiring that officials pay more attention to disclosing information. The guidelines come as the government is curtailing freedom of expression online and in the press.

Inevitably, plenty of information remains off limits. Article Eight of the regulations says disclosure must not endanger state, public or economic security or social stability, an open-ended list that prompts utmost caution from compliers. State and commercial secrets—however vaguely defined—are out-of-bounds. Last June Xie Yanyi, a Beijing lawyer, applied to the public security ministry for information about the surveillance of citizens. He received a note saying such details were not covered by the law. China’s regulations are more restrictive than those elsewhere. In America a request in the public interest suffices. In China, people must prove a personal need.

Government departments, at all levels, still do not release everything they should. But Mr Wu, the lawyer, found they are less able to opt out without a good reason. Guangdong province’s Health and Family Planning Commission initially rebuffed his OGI request, saying “internal management issues” prevented compliance. Mr Wu tried again. On April 1st Guangzhou Intermediate Court ruled in his favour. The commission was ordered to reprocess his request. He awaits word of its decision.

via Freedom of information: Right to know | The Economist.

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21/02/2014

* Local-government debt: Bridging the fiscal chasm | The Economist

This article provides support for the views of Charlene Chu, expert on China’s shadow debt – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ffcabcec-7900-11e3-b381-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2tsNdwlvq.  She was one of the key interviewees in Robert Peston‘s recent BBC2 show on “How China Fooled the World”. – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03w7gxt

“CHINA’S provincial administrations are often referred to as “local” governments. But the phrase does not do them justice. The province of Guangdong, for example, boasts more than 105m people and a GDP worth more than $1 trillion. Only 11 countries (including China itself) have a bigger population and only 15 have a larger economy.

Equally impressive is the scale of provincial debts. At the end of 2013 China’s national auditor revealed that the liabilities of local governments had grown to 10.9 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion) by the middle of last year, or 17.9 trillion yuan if various debt guarantees were added. That was equivalent to about a third of China’s GDP. These “local” debts, in other words, had grown fast enough to become a national burden and an international concern.

The audit documented the size of the problem, but revealed little about its location. The debts were all discussed at an aggregate, countrywide level. No provinces were singled out for blame or praise. In the past few weeks, however, almost all of the provincial-level governments have published audits of their own. As well as shedding light on the problem, this information may help to solve it. In principle, the least provident governments are now exposed to public scrutiny. Fiscal shame may help prevent a fiscal fright.

But identifying the most indebted province is not as easy as it sounds. The figures can be sliced and diced in a variety of ways. The coastal provinces of Jiangsu (just north of Shanghai) and Guangdong (just north of Hong Kong) owe the most, accounting for 14% of the total between them. But these two provinces also have the largest economies, generating over 19% of the country’s GDP.

Relative to the size of their economies, the poor western provinces of Yunnan, Qinghai and Gansu bear some of the heaviest burdens, along with the western municipality of Chongqing, which is renowned for its heavy public investment (see chart). The province with the biggest fiscal chasm to cross, however, is Guizhou (whose impressive Balinghe bridge is pictured above). It had liabilities in mid-2013 equivalent to over 80% of its GDP over the previous four quarters.

These figures include money China’s provincial governments have borrowed themselves and other institutions’ debts that they have guaranteed. Sometimes this debt is guaranteed explicitly. Often, the backing is implicit. By the end of 2012 Chongqing had explicitly guaranteed debts worth 18% of its GDP. Gansu, for its part, had implicitly backed borrowings worth 20%.”

via Local-government debt: Bridging the fiscal chasm | The Economist.

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26/01/2014

Fire destroys 100 homes in centuries-old Guizhou village: reports | South China Morning Post

A fire has destroyed more than 100 homes in a Chinese village built three centuries ago, state media said on Sunday, the third blaze to ravage a cultural site in weeks.

fire.jpg

The blazes, which all erupted in the southwest of the country, often burned down old wooden structures.

The latest fire broke out at Baojing Dong village in Guizhou province late on Saturday and took more than four hours to put out, the state news agency Xinhua said.

The area was “one of China’s most complete” settlements of the Dong ethnic minority, known for its “well-preserved” dwellings, it added.

Nearly 2,000 residents lived there but no casualties have yet been reported. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, it said.

More than 200 similar settlements are located in the same prefecture of Qiandongnan and many have suffered from fires, local housing official Gu Huaxian was quoted by Xinhua as saying last month.

A separate blaze on January 10 destroyed more than 100 wooden homes in an ancient Tibetan town in the popular tourist area of Shangri-La in Yunnan province.

The fire at Gyalthang – in an area said to have inspired British author James Hilton’s mythical Shangri-La – also took place overnight, with no casualties reported.

A week earlier 10 structures burned down in the Buddhist Serthar institute, a high-profile site for Tibetan culture in Sichuan province.

via Fire destroys 100 homes in centuries-old Guizhou village: reports | South China Morning Post.

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20/07/2013

China officials held over watermelon-seller death

BBC : “Six urban security personnel have been detained by police investigating the death of a fruit seller in southern China, state media say.

Local residents demonstrate with a banner saying "urban enforcers (chengguan) killed people" in Linwu county, central China's Hunan province, 17 July 2013

Deng Zhengjia, in his 50s, died on Wednesday in Chenzhou City, Hunan.

He was hit with a weight from a set of scales after a row erupted with the officials, known as “chengguan”, Xinhua reported, citing Mr Deng’s niece.

The six are being held on suspicion of intentionally harming others, added the news agency.

 

The row in Linwu county, Chenzhou, erupted after Mr Deng, 56, and his wife tried to sell home-grown watermelons at a scenic riverside spot without a licence, the county government said in a statement.

Having asked the couple to leave, “the enforcers temporarily confiscated four of the watermelons, requesting that the couple sell their melons in an authorised location instead”.

The couple began “insulting” the officers when they encountered them again 50 minutes later, the statement said.

“The enforcers tried to reason with the couple, the dispute between the two sides became a physical conflict, and in the process Deng Zhengjia suddenly collapsed and died,” it added.

There were anti-chengguan protests in Linwu on Wednesday, and the fruit seller’s death has also sparked outrage on China’s microblogs.

In July 2011, the death of a disabled street vendor who was reportedly beaten by local law enforcers sparked a riot in Guizhou province.

Who are the chengguan?

Urban law enforcers tasked with enforcing ”non-criminal administrative regulations” such as traffic, environment and sanitation rules

Chengguan operate separately from the police

They are employed by the Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureaux of their individual cities

Critics call them “violent government thugs”

Reports that a disabled street vendor was beaten to death by chengguan in 2011 sparked riots in China’s Guizhou province

There are thousands of chengguan in at least 656 cities across China, Human Rights Watch says

The chengguan, or Urban Management Law Enforcement force, support the police in tackling low-level crime in cities and have become unpopular with the Chinese public after a series of high-profile violent incidents.

“They are now synonymous for many Chinese citizens with physical violence, illegal detention and theft,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a report last year.

via BBC News – China officials held over watermelon-seller death.

31/01/2013

* Less is more at annual meets

China Daily: “Fewer staff, shorter speeches, modest dinners and less printing ― meetings of local legislators and political advisers across China are getting slimmer, simpler and greener.

Less is more at annual meets

Having cut down on the number of staff members involved in the Shanghai People’s Congress by 20 percent from last year’s meeting, the organizer also reduced spending on food and accessories.

“The budget for the first meeting of the 14th Shanghai People’s Congress was nearly 18 percent lower than last year,” said Ni Yinliang, a senior officer of the organizing office of the congress.

The suggested length of speeches is eight minutes in most regions of the country.

“I’ve noticed that the majority of deputies gave shorter speeches in discussions with better quality advice, which enables us to finish the meetings on time and leaves more time to submit our written comments and proposals,” said Zhuang Shaoqin, a Shanghai lawmaker and head of the city’s Fengxian district.

Similarly in Shanxi province, the number of attendees for this year’s two sessions decreased by 144 and the number of staff members was cut by 295, and the length of the congress was reduced from eight days to six and half days, said Ma Wei, director of the organization department of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference‘s Shanxi committee.

Decorations for meetings across the country have been simplified.

Fewer fresh flowers were seen, and red carpets were not rolled out to welcome meeting participants in many regions including Shanghai and Guizhou province.

Shanghai and Shanxi suggested participants use public transport and arranged 15 direct shuttles to travel between subway stations and meeting venues.

No police cars were deployed to escort vehicles carrying meeting participants, and traffic was not suspended to make way for them.

“I’ve taken the subway since the first day of the congress, and I’ve found a great many of deputies have done the same thing in the past four days,” said Wu Jiang, a Shanghai lawmaker.

Many provinces and cities are using online systems to reduce printing.

Shanghai continued its operation of the online submitting system and sent out e-copies of documents to the deputies instead of printing them out.

Wu added that he is very satisfied with the online submitting system of written comments and proposals, which is convenient and saves energy and resources.

The online system has also been applied in other places including Tianjin and Guizhou.

In Tianjin, more lawmakers and political advisers have become aware of using both sides of a piece of paper while taking notes, people.com.cn reported.

In addition, dining expenses have been reduced.

The organizer of Shanghai People’s Congress session offered only six hot dishes served buffet style.

“The buffet allows us to choose what we like and avoid the unnecessary waste of food, which is a very wise decision,” said Shanghai lawmaker Zhuang.

In Guizhou, meeting participants are served with hot water instead of tea.

“Replacing the tea with hot water will definitely minimize the costs of labor and materials,” said Wang Shaoer, a member of the provincial political advisory body.

Hebei province has come up with another way to save resources.

Passes that are valid for five years were given to deputies and committee members.

Passes will be kept by the organizers after the first-year congress and be reused for the following four years. Lawmakers and political advisers serve five-year terms. They used to be given a new pass each year.”

via Less is more at annual meets |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn.

04/01/2013

* Poorest Chinese province to settle 100,000 in new homes

This is one way of lifting the very poor out of their poverty. China seems to be the only country capable of doing so; not India, Brazil or any of the other countries with huge slums and large clusters of the ultra poor.

Xinhua: “A southwestern Chinese province with the largest impoverished population in the country will relocate more than 100,000 destitute rural residents into modern communities before spring 2013.

The move was part of a poverty alleviation project initiated last year to move 2 million farmers out of the province’s poverty-ridden mountainous and desert areas within nine years.

According to the province’s office on poverty relief and ecological migration, Guizhou built 180 new communities for the project in 2012, with a cost of 1.81 billion yuan (287.9 million U.S. dollars).

The first batch of 101,300 farmers are expected to move into their new homes before this year’s Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on February 10, an official from the office said.

Guizhou is home to 11.49 million rural residents who are struggling below the national poverty line for farmers, which was raised to 2,300 yuan in per capital annual income in 2011.

The official said most of the communities were adjacent to towns and industrial parks where job opportunities abound, and the local governments will offer job training to help the farmers adapt to their new lives.

Those relocated near towns will also have access to education, medical services and other social welfare enjoyed by urban dwellers.

Officials in Guizhou said the project would relocate another 250,000 farmers in 2013.”

via Poorest Chinese province to settle 100,000 in new homes – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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