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Guangzhou may curb migrant flow
Latest Updated by 2006-12-19 12:02:33
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The municipal government of Guangzhou is considering capping the number of migrant workers it allows into the city to curb the social problems that have been linked to unchecked immigration.

The cap could limit the industries allowed to hire migrant workers.

Officials from the municipal government said they were studying the possibility of capping the influx of migrant workers into the city, but no details are yet available.

"Guangzhou has long suffered from a poor public security situation because of burglary, robbery, theft and many other crimes, many of them committed by the migrant population," said Su Baoling, a member of the municipal political consultative conference who is supporting the cap plan.

"Public security in Guangzhou is the worst of China's big cities."

Official statistics show that of the 100,000 crimes reported every year during the past five years, roughly 85 per cent ended in the arrest of a migrant worker. During the same period, the city recorded about 150,000 social security cases per year.

Cases involving robbery accounted for 61.7 per cent of the total.

"Many big cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, set limits on the migrant population and their public security is much better," Su said.

"The migrant population needs to compete for jobs and use public facilities like medical service and public transport. Their children need schooling, and they tend to have more babies than what the State's family planning policy allows, which means the municipal government has to do more to cope with them."

Reliable sources said the migrant population in Guangzhou exceeds 5 million.

Local residents have welcomed reports of the possible move to control the spread of migrant workers.

Dong Qixing, who works for a company in the Guangzhou Tianhe Software Park, said he approved of efforts to better control the migrant population.

"Public security in Guangzhou is too poor to bear," he said. "Like several of my colleagues, I had my laptop robbed on my way home last month. The robber was a drug-addict from Xinjiang."

However, Peng Peng, director of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said it made no sense to limit the migrant population in Guangzhou.

"A city needs multiple levels of human resources, and migrant workers end up doing the jobs that local citizens are unwilling to do," Peng said. "Guangzhou needs a large number of migrant workers."

"What the government should do is beef up efforts to better manage the migrant population," the director said.

Editor: Yan

By: Zhan Lisheng Source: China Daily Website
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