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  • Author or Editor: Kam Wing Chan x
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Kam Wing Chan

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Kam Wing Chan

This paper presents a retrospective analysis of China’s hukou (household registration) system in the last five decades since its promulgation, reviewing the history of that system from a broad socio-political perspective. More specifically, the paper focuses on revealing trends in the development of the system over time and identifying many of its important ramifications for modern Chinese society, as well as on the impact of hukou on the country’s industrialization, urbanization, rural–urban migration, and social and spatial stratification. The author argues that the hukou system now presents a major obstacle to China’s quest to become a modern, First World nation and global leader.

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Kam Wing Chan

This paper presents a retrospective analysis of China’s hukou (household registration) system on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its promulgation, reviewing the history of that system from a broad socio-political perspective and highlighting the continuity and change. The paper focuses also on identifying many of its important ramifications for modern Chinese society, as well as on the impact of the hukou on the country’s industrialization, urbanization, and social and spatial stratification. The paper argues that despite all the reforms in the last four decades, the hukou system remains a major obstacle to China’s quest to become a modern, first-world nation and global leader. More forceful measures to change and gradually abolish the system are urgently needed.