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China to ease permanent residency requirements in large citie

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BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- China said Monday it will ease the requirements for permanent residency in many large cities as part of its new urbanization push.

Restrictions on permanent residence permits should be scrapped in cities with populations between 1 million and 3 million, according to a document outlining key urbanization tasks this year released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner.

For cities with populations of 3 million to 5 million, the qualifications for such permits should be "fully relaxed," and the restrictions for certain key groups of people to get such permits should be removed, the document said.

Previously, the country has already gradually abolished permanent residency restrictions in small and medium-sized cities and towns with populations below 1 million.

The NDRC document also demanded cities with populations above 5 million to improve their policies and drastically expand the scale of permanent residency.

While fast urbanization in China has brought large population inflows from rural areas to cities, only those registered with permanent residence permits are fully entitled to social welfare in their resident cities.

Basic public services should be guaranteed for unregistered permanent residents in cities, with an increased supply of education resources in cities where there are a sizable number of children of migrant workers, according to the NDRC document.

The coverage of government-supported rental homes and housing provident funds should be expanded to benefit more unregistered permanent residents, the document said.

China aims to add 100 million registered permanent urban residents from 2016 to 2020.

By the end of 2018, the share of such residents in the country's total population stood at 43.37 percent, up 1.02 percentage points from a year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

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