From the Chinese Press

Updated: 2013-11-05 07:23

(China Daily)

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Household registration system

According to the latest data released by Tsinghua University, although the urbanization in China is accelerating, the urban registered population accounts for only 27.6 percent of the total population, an increase of 7.7 percent over the past 20 years. This is because reform of household registration system seriously lags behind the urbanization process, says an article in Yangcheng Evening News. Excerpts:

If the household registration system remains unchanged, the separation between registered and actual residences will cause many social issues. Therefore, some warning signs should be heeded.

First of all, the behavior of some local officials during land requisitions and demolitions may break the laws and regulations and have a negative effect on society. This is especially true of forced relocations. Those illegal practices should be stopped and the perpetrators punished.

The second warning sign is that an expropriation compensation system still needs to be established. Although a few families have reportedly made a fortune overnight, many other families do not get reasonable compensation when land is requisitioned, so their rights must be guaranteed

The last warning sign is a follow-up security system remains to be built. If there are not enough job opportunities and social insurance to protect people, they will have no long-term security. So reform of the household registration system should be carried out as soon as possible to protect people's rights.

'Fake divorces' a worrying trend

In order to avoid paying the sales tax on second properties a growing number of couples are getting divorced, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Although the young couples nowadays may be less respectful towards marriage than in the old days, some experts believe that the higher divorce rate is also related to the housing policies in Beijing.

Since February, a 20 percent sales tax has been levied on housing transaction if the property is not the only real estate property self-used for more than five years. Divorce has become a way to avoid the tax. Such "fake divorces" have pushed up the divorce figures.

Divorces to avoid paying tax show the complicated relations between marriage and economic interests and it is undoubtedly a realistic choice for some individuals to maintain their interests. However, if a government policy has such an unwanted effect on society, it clearly needs to be adjusted.

The real estate control policy should not be aimed at breaking up families. If more "fake marriages" happen in our society and people value their economic interests more than a stable family, it will have extremely bad social effects in the near future.

(China Daily 11/05/2013 page9)