Handbook on Urban Development in China
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Handbook on Urban Development in China

Edited by Ray Yep, June Wang and Thomas Johnson

The trajectory and logic of urban development in post-Mao China have been shaped and defined by the contention between domestic and global capital, central and local state and social actors of different class status and endowment. This urban transformation process of historic proportion entails new rules for distribution and negotiation, novel perceptions of citizenship, as well as room for unprecedented spontaneity and creativity. Based on original research by leading experts, this book offers an updated and nuanced analysis of the new logic of urban governance and its implications.
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Chapter 4: China’s hukou system at 60: continuity and reform

Kam Wing Chan

Abstract

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.

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