China lays out reform roadmap

China lays out reform roadmap

BEIJING - China should dismantle its widely loathed "hukou" system, among other much-needed reforms, a government-affiliated think-tank said, according to reports yesterday.

The Development Research Centre (DRC) of the State Council, or Cabinet, issued a list of far-reaching reform proposals ahead of a key meeting of the ruling Communist Party due next month, when changes are expected to be approved.

Residency is a key controversy in China, where those who hold urban "hukou", or permits, have greater rights to state medical insurance, education and other services in each area, often excluding the hundreds of millions of people who have moved to China's cities.

The DRC said the system should be replaced with a "basic social-safety package", including pension and medical insurance, reports said.

The proposals have been submitted to the Communist Party's third plenum meeting, the China Business News said, adding that one of the authors was Mr Liu He, who is a key adviser to top party leaders and vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic-planning agency.

Other ideas in the DRC report - which did not give specific timetables - included publishing officials' personal assets and restructuring the state-monopoly railway, energy, telecommunications and financial sectors to open them to competition.

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