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Contents:
  1. Economics Blogs
  2. Arianne Gaetano - Google Scholar Citations
  3. Mike Smitka's Home Page Posts
  4. Inequality and Internal Migration in China
  5. Young Women Rural Migrant Workers in China’s West: Benefits of Schooling?

Majority of married women, 38 out of 42, had children. In terms of income, the amount of each paycheck was not fixed, and depended on the number of specific items made. Workers were usually provided tokens for items completed and for overtime. Thus, many workers tried to put in long hours of work, including overtime, to receive many tokens and increase their paycheck. The survey was divided into three sections. The first part of the survey gathered demographic information about workers, such as their age and marital status.

The second included questions regarding their migration and employment in Wuhan. The third set of questions related to the allocation of their income. This part of the survey was divided into three themes. The first asked about remittances that women allocated to their homes. A distinction was made between natal families, in-laws, and their own families spouse and children. The second part dealt with how the families in turn distributed the income they received from migrant workers.

Here workers could pick family member's education, family member's professional development, investing in a family enterprise, supplying funds needed for construction or repair of the house, as well as repaying a loan. The third section looked into how women spent money towards their own personal needs.

Here women could select daily expenses e. Women provided approximate evaluations of the allocation of their income. Thus, participants marked what portion of their income about a half, a third, a quarter, just a little bit, or nothing goes towards a particular category of expenses. The survey thus did not ask for actual expenditure figures. It was understood that since a majority of the women had junior high school education Table 1 , they could distinguish between the various categories and establish what they perceived as priorities in their income distribution.

As mentioned earlier, questions of migration and income cannot be easily broached in a context where the migration status of women is likely to be uncertain and factory employees are suspicious of attempts to gather data on conditions of factory work. No deliberate targeting of women therefore was sought to be undertaken.

Given that single and married women are likely to have different responsibilities in terms of family members, and that on the whole married women were older than single women, survey results have been differentiated across the two groups. The remainder of this article details findings from survey data for single and married women. In addition, 5 single mothers spent a portion of their income towards their children. Figure 2 shows that most single women, 67 out of 86 about 78 per cent , sent part of their income home to their natal families. Only 5 women decidedly answered that they do not give any money to their parents.

It is clear from this that most single women sent part of their paycheck to their parents. Figure 2. In contrast, 10 said that approximately half of their income goes towards the family enterprise. Furthermore, 28 women 33 per cent marked the income as being spent towards family member's education or professional development expenses. Of these 28 women, a slight majority 15 said that their parents spent only a small amount of money on such expenses. Only 12 women among the 86 respondents marked that some of their income is allotted towards repaying of loans.

This could be because most household purchases are preferably made through the use of savings, rather than on the basis of borrowed money. Figure 3. Utilization of single women's incomes by their parents' households. Some single women spent their money towards building their professional skills. When it comes to personal spending habits Figure 4 , most women 78 out of 86, about 91 per cent utilized their income to pay for daily expenses.

Among these 78 women, 29 spent approximately a third of their income, and 22 spent about half of their income on daily expenses. Only 3 women marked that they do not use their income for daily expenses. In terms of lifestyle purchases, 69 women about 80 percent devoted their income towards this overhead. Of single women, 30 approximately 35 per cent allotted a portion of their income towards their own education, or professional development. Moreover, to the extent that a large number of women do not spend their income on urban lifestyle-related expenses, it becomes clear that rural migrant women are not being largely transformed into consumers despite their independent access to wages.

Yet, survey findings show that 26 out of 42 married women that were part of this survey approximately 62 per cent also contribute a part of their income to their natal family Figure 5. Only 7 women marked that they do not give any money to their parents.

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Of these women, a majority 19 declared that they spent about half of their income towards their own family, and 10 women marked that they spent almost a third of their income on their family. The remaining 4 women contributed less than a third. Only 2 women declared that they do not spend any money towards their spouse or child. Figure 5. Contributions by married women towards their own, their parents, and their in-laws households.

Although 17 women approximately 40 per cent marked that they spent some money towards their in-laws, only 2 women said that they contribute about a third of their income to their husband's parents Figure 5. None of the women contributed close to a half of their income. Moreover, 10 women marked that they did not contribute any money towards their in-laws. Of the 42 women, 23 about 55 per cent gave some portion of their income to support the family enterprise. However, among these 23 women, 12 marked that their families spent 'just a little bit' of their income on this, and 8 women marked that their families spent approximately a half of their income towards the family enterprise.

A total of 23 women about 55 per cent marked that their families utilized money towards this overhead. Similar to single women, money provided by married women to their families was rarely used to make loan payments. Most women 19 declared that their families do not spend any money on it.

Again, this may be because households prefer to make purchases with savings, or have limited access to credit. Figure 6. Utilization of married women's incomes by their own and extended families. Only 2 women marked that they did not spend any money from their income on their daily expenses. The next popular category was the use of their income for lifestyle-related expenses and 35 women about 83 per cent said that they spent some of their money on this. In the case of both single and married women, the main contribution is towards the family enterprise.

This research thus shows that no automatic linkages can be assumed between access to waged income and increased consumerist behavior, since some rural migrant women, especially single women, that were part of this study seem more willing to devote their money to their own education and professional development. Similar to Sun , this suggests that aspects of city life other than consumption are worth bringing into discussions on gendered migrant identities.

Scholars of traditional gender relations in China however have focused on how a marked preference for sons structures access to education and hence to job opportunities [e. In the traditional view, sons are expected to take care of old parents and hence viewed as a form of social security and long-term economic asset, while daughters are expected to live with and work for their in-laws.

Female economic migration throws such understandings into doubt, not only because access to wages assures women greater independence from traditional social moorings, but also because the economic value attached to daughters can now no longer be assumed as negligible. Yet, the one-child policy has not been uniformly implemented across China, and rural couples are often allowed to have two children. It has also been found that a majority of rural couples decide to have more children than permitted, as has been shown for instance in the case of rural Hubei province [Cheng, ].

Arianne Gaetano - Google Scholar Citations

My conversations with rural women migrants reflect this notion of more than one child per couple in the countryside, since most migrant workers revealed that they have many siblings, including brothers and sisters. Moreover, traditional inequality in access to education, although somewhat reduced since the s, also seems to persist Li The findings in this article can also be utilized to argue that there is a need to move beyond ties between women and their natal and marital homes.

The mark of real freedom instead may be in terms of the money that women spend on themselves, especially if they save towards their future needs thus assuring themselves of financial independence and economic security. At this point, only a glimpse can be provided into interview findings, and it should also be noted that the interviews are separate from the surveys and direct linkages cannot be drawn between survey and interview respondents. I would like to send my son to a better school in the future, so I decided to come to Wuhan.

This finding is contrary to the traditionally upheld view that women become irrelevant to their parents after marriage. This study also shows that the migration of women in search of economic opportunities should be an important aspect of understanding patterns of internal migration in China. As this study has shown, rural women are connected to a variety of households through their migration to urban areas and their work in factories.

CHOW E. FAN C. Gaetano and T. According to Zhou, farmers seized the opportunity to move and ignored the regulation to stay in small towns Zhou , The very development of small town rural industries increased the access of rural entrepreneurs to urban areas, and the great proliferation of uncontrolled markets overwhelmed the coercive restraints implied in hukou. Surging markets guaranteed a source of food and goods for the surge of migrants ibid. In the PSB issued the "Provisional Regulations Concerning Management of Temporary City and Town Residents," creating two new categories of temporary urban residence permits, one for people engaged in commercial activities and one for those visiting for non-commercial reasons such as staying with relatives or seeing a doctor Development and Change , 13; Zhongguo Qingnian Jan.

The new regulations extended temporary registration to small towns, and allowed temporary residents to rent housing Development and Change , In the late s many cities began selling "blue household registry status" which varied from one city to another in the privileges given, but generally allowed temporary workers to legally reside in the city and freed them from the obligation to provide the state with a grain quota Zhongguo Qingnian Jan. For example, in the Special Economic Zone in Shenzhen, "blue chop" blue seal, blue card registration status is available to "non-Shenzhen citizens under the age of 45 with tertiary, postsecondary or technical qualifications who have respectively held temporary status for one, two or three years" Zhongguo Xinwen She 30 Dec.

The "blue chop" status grants holders in Shenzhen a full range of social security and medical benefits, and enables them to apply for permanent resident status after three years ibid. Blue card holders revert to their old agricultural status should they try to move to a different city, while the regular urban hukou allows for transfer to other cities Development and Change , A black market exists for hukou sales, and corruption among officials is said to be rampant Solinger , ; Zhou , The price of a hukou and of any corresponding bribe depends on the size and prestige of the city, with hukou sales providing up to 40 per cent of government revenues in some counties ibid.

Zhou reports that more than one million farmers have bought blue cards in Guangdong Province ibid. However, Zhou also remarks that:. Many migrants who are not wealthy enough to buy hukou or the blue card try not to be noticed. Many go to the cities without the registration that the state requires. Chinese social scientists point out that 60 percent of rural migrants in Chengdu City, Sichuan, do not register, while in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, fewer than one-third of migrants register at all ibid.

The Christian Science Monitor adds that in Beijing "only one-sixth of the migrants have official employment papers, and only one-third hold residency permits [hukou or the blue card]" 2 Jan.


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Sources indicate that despite greater opportunities to purchase some form of urban hukou , it is common for rural migrants to maintain close ties with their home villages and even continue their participation in rural labour for part of the year Urban Studies , ; Development and Change , 15; Ma , ; Politics and Society Mar. This strategy allows individuals, usually single males, to take advantage of risky money-making opportunities in the city while maintaining, through the family, the security of providing their own food ibid.

The term "floating population" liudong renkou refers to "persons staying away from their place of registration without having transferred their hukou " ibid. As Cheng Li explains, the floating population is not only made up of rural workers going to cities, but also includes:. This category would include temporary residents, contract rural workers, short-term visitors, people on business trips, and so on.

Not all floaters are on the move; some stay in the same place for years Asian Survey Nov. A more derogatory term that is sometimes used is mangliu , literally "blind flow," [2] 2 but also "vagrant," which evokes the derision, suspicion and fear with which many permanent residents regard the transients Development and Change , 23; Current History Sept. Figures from the late s indicate transients making up over one-fifth of the population of such major cities as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou Asian Survey Nov.

Young, single males make up the greatest proportion of these transients, but figures vary, from 55 per cent male to well over 80 per cent depending on the source and sample being measured Xinhua 3 Apr. For example, Solinger reported Ministry of Construction statistics for Beijing which find 87 per cent of transients to be male ibid.

In Shenzhen and Foshan in Guangdong Province, however, female migrants outnumbered males in a survey, a finding explained by the dominance of "labour-intensive electronic and processing industries [which] One of the problems in measuring the floating population is its changing nature: in Guangzhou, for example, some 10 million transients regularly move in and out of the city during spring festival Nanfang Ribao 17 Jan. Sources indicate that the current floating population is only the tip of the iceberg: the countryside holds another million surplus labourers who are being increasingly drawn to urban areas in the south and east Asian Survey Nov.

While China's rural population has declined from some 80 per cent of the country's total population in , it still stands at about 65 to 70 per cent of nearly 1. In her article Solinger cites a "major government study of seven of China's biggest municipalities" which found that about 30 per cent of the floating population in large cities work on construction sites, another 22 per cent peddle goods in produce markets, Solinger divides migrants workers into two groups.

The first is the small minority with either the money or the social connections guanxi to break into the regular urban life of the privileged hukou holder; the second group, in the vast majority, end up in exhausting, dead-end labour that keeps them marginalized despite their move to the city or town ibid. Offering a somewhat different view, Zhou acknowledges the difficult, lowly-status of much of this work, but emphasizes the entrepreneurial, risk-taking spirit of many of the migrants who analyze the myriad needs of city dwellers and then find ways to fill them, often in the face of local regulations , One example she gives is the creation of private markets jishi beginning in the early s.

In many localities city officials worked to close down or restrict these markets to certain areas, but Zhou argues that these types of regulations actually gave the migrants a legal status that had not been there before, and that local governments came to depend on the revenues from fees and fines paid by rural entrepreneurs operating in the markets ibid. In March Xinhua reported on the establishment in Zhejiang Province of a "complete employment system" which includes over 1, job placement agencies licensed for operation in cities, townships and villages 20 Mar. Over half of the 1, townships and villages in the province have employment agencies, according to the report ibid.

As well, Fazhi Ribao , a Beijing newspaper, reported the development of "a labor service coordination system" for transient labourers in "several large regions" of the country 10 Sept. The article makes clear, however, that regulation and control of transient labour are priorities of this system rather than finding them appropriate work ibid.

For the most part migrants do not get work through agencies or official channels but through word of mouth and personal connections, often having to do with shared geographical origins Zhou , ; Politics and Society Mar. Zhou reports on the revival of tongxianghui , association of people with the same birth place :. Rural migrants spread information about jobs, housing, and other services among themselves.

In every city, especially the big cities, certain parts of the city are so dominated by rural migrants from one province they are known as a village of that province. They often dominate all services and commerce in one district, usually without formal organization or formal leadership , Solinger gives other examples across the country:. In most districts of Shanghai, floaters from Jiangsu predominate.

Near Zhongshan University on the outskirts of Guangzhou, a whole village of 10, peasants had rented 2, rooms from the locals and outnumbered them by a ratio of three to one. Squatter settlements graced several other areas of the city; three or four separate ones could be found in the Baiyun District in the late s, sheltering people from Sichuan, Hunan and Guangxi provinces CRF Summer a, 7. Conditions and terms of work for migrants vary considerably, although a number of sources stress Dickensian conditions of low pay, long hours, forced overtime, insecurity, few benefits, victimization, and hazardous working environments resulting in thousands of work-related deaths each year Current History Sept.

Meisner also notes that "while there are national and local laws limiting the length of the workday and prohibiting abuses such as child labour, the laws are rarely enforced" ibid. Crushing workloads are common: Mobo C. In January the Chinese government promulgated a new labour law permitting a maximum of three hours of overtime per day, but many migrants reportedly work longer than that Scharping , Gao visited 40 enterprises in three southern provinces in the summer of and found that even when contracts existed, they often stressed the obligations of employees rather than those of the employer [4] 4 CRF Fall , Gao also reported that mistreatment of transient workers is common, with workers being beaten by management, and managers collecting and controlling identity cards, locking the windows and doors of factories, and levying fines for going to the toilet, being sick, or failing to do overtime ibid.

Many enterprises also collect a range of deposits from new contract workers for such things as security, tools, insurance against resignation, and residence permits, which leave the workers indebted to the enterprise from the beginning ibid. Migrant labour has penetrated many different types of enterprises [5] 5 and Solinger reports a range of treatment depending upon the organization Modern China Apr.

She found that in general migrant labourers fortunate enough to be employed in state-run enterprises [6] 6 met with better work conditions than those employed in the non-state sector ibid. According to a State Council document cited by Solinger, contract labourers in state-run enterprises are supposed to receive many of the same bonuses, holidays, pay rates and benefits as the permanent workers ibid.

Solinger's personal research into state-run firms reveals a range of labour practices regarding contract workers: some enterprises lay off a sick employee usually after giving a lump sum payment of three months' salary , and provide no insurance or housing; others have subsidized factory clinics and hospitals, provide insurance, and have regularized hours to match regular tenured workers. Some firms provide free medical care but no wages for minor illnesses, and send workers home without pay for major ones; still others can afford to be more generous so that wages and benefits for contract staff approach those for regular staff ibid.

According to Solinger, the poorest conditions were generally in the non-state sector, with a litany of problems that she equates with the worst abuses of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism ibid. The November factory fire in Shenzhen that killed some 83 peasant workers who had been locked in is one of the worst examples of the unregulated nightmare of labour conditions experienced by many migrant workers ibid.

In September another fire, in a shoe factory in Jinjiang City, Fujian, killed 32 people who, contrary to fire ordinances, were living at the factory; as in Shenzhen, the doors and windows had been locked and secured by iron bars Zhongguo Xinwen She 22 Sept. Interviews conducted by Solinger with managers at a number of firms indicate the cost savings made by hiring temporary migrant labourers: there is no insurance to pay, young workers are less likely to get ill and are expected to depart before getting old; there is no need to set up schools, nurseries, or day cares, or to provide maternity leave when workers are required to be unmarried and childless; housing is very cheap when six or more live in one room; and workers are only paid for the time they work Modern China Apr.

Solinger reports that although various levels of government have set forth regulations on labour practices, there is a wide variation between enterprises regarding whether the regulations are implemented and how strictly they are followed ibid. Foreign-funded firms in particular often escape regulation or inspection, and most of these firms refuse to allow the establishment of trade unions ibid. Along with the generally poor conditions of work faced by transient workers, the labour situation in China also suffers from massive lay-offs in unprofitable state-run enterprises and rampant corruption amongst officials FEER 15 Jan.

During the Mao era public housing was promoted over private in urban areas, and this system still dominates in cities CRF Summer b, Urban housing now features ownership by various levels of government as well as the danweis , with only a small percentage of rental and borrowed units available outside this system ibid.

Urban rents are still largely subsidized by the state, and although the government is trying to raise rents to more accurately reflect the cost of housing, regular hukou -holding urban residents still commonly pay only about 5 per cent of their salaries towards rent CRF Summer b, 2, 4; see also Scharping , Most housing is distributed through the danwei by a housing assignment committee, which measures such factors as years of employment and years of membership in the work unit, education, family planning status, age of children and number of generations living together, military service, minority status and whether one is a "returned overseas Chinese" CRF Summer b, Need and seniority are the priorities ibid.

But, as Wenfang Tang explains, corruption is also a common factor:. Some families conceal the fact that they have already been assigned an apartment by another work unit in order to get a new one. Bribery of housing assignment committee members is common. High-ranking officials are allocated more living space, and some even get an apartment at each place they work. After three job changes, the family will have three apartments for the parents and their children. The extra space is not a financial burden on such a family since the rent is so low. Some of these apartments remain vacant for a long time while other families have no place to stay ibid.

Transients moving into a city or town often face a housing shortage, due to government policies against renting out publicly owned living spaces to non- hukou holders and against occupying land or building or buying houses unless one is already an urban resident or a "returning overseas Chinese" CRF Summer a, 4.

However, in parts of China there is also a construction boom. As Tang explains, housing regulations and practices vary considerably across the country: "Privatization is more common in southern cities and small cities and towns than in large and more centrally controlled cities" CRF Summer b, 5; see also Scharping , Fazhi Ribao reports that some areas of Guangdong, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces have even been able to build housing for the floating population 10 Sept.

Many transients end up living on the outskirts of urban areas in suburbs which might remain officially agricultural but offer an easy commute into the city by bicycle Zhou , ; CRF Summer a, ; The Christian Science Monitor 2 Jan. Transients will quietly rent a room from a farmer who will not ask for identification papers and will not report the income for tax purposes; these practices are technically illegal but fairly common since both the farmer and the resident stand to gain, as do corrupt local officials likely to accept bribes Zhou , ; CRF Summer a, 6.

According to Solinger, about 40 per cent of transients either rent in this way or else stay with relatives , Solinger further explains:.

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Another 20 percent [of migrant workers] are in collective unit shelters this would relate mainly to workers in factory dormitories, but might include those in temporary work shacks at construction sites as well. The most visible homes for transients are in shantytowns and squatter communities built without permission on the outskirts of major cities ibid. These communities are often described as run-down and ramshackle, providing rudimentary or nonexistent services and dominated by informal organizations likely to be more affiliated with local gangs than municipal officials The Christian Science Monitor 2 Jan.

According to Zhou, once established, migrants set up satellite villages around the suburbs, which "became centers of rural enterprises, most of which operated without permission from the state" , For example, despite not having business licences, many factories have been routinely built and clandestinely operated in these satellite villages ibid.

Accommodations provided to migrant workers by employers are often bleak CRF Fall , 1. According to Gao:. The best living conditions for migrant workers are those in factory dormitories, generally rooms of ten to 16 square meters shared by ten to 16 people of the same sex. The only privacy is afforded by a mosquito net, while each individual's belongings are placed on the bed or under it. The beds are double-deck wooden structures for which the workers bring their own bedding. One bulb hangs in the middle of the room. They cannot have their families with them Dormitories usually have a communal bathroom in which workers line up to have a shower in summer or a wash in winter.

For those who build their own shelters there may not be a tap nearby, in which case they have to fetch water from a well or a distant tap, and there are no toilets. A furniture workshop I visited looked like a dump: about 30 migrant workers had built shelters around the workshop. They got all their water from a well ibid.

Gao also found that the food provided in factory canteens was uniformly drab: "rice porridge with pickled vegetables for breakfast, some steamed rice with a seasonal vegetable mixed with a few pieces of fatty pork for lunch and the same for supper" ibid.

According to Gao workers complained of malnutrition and of having to supplement with their own food to eat properly, and hygiene standards were not met at most factory canteens ibid. Since however, grain has officially been allowed to be bought and sold in open markets without hukou- distributed ration coupons, and reports indicate that since the early s good harvests and open food markets have undermined the coupon system to such an extent that many provinces no longer use the coupons Politics and Society Mar. Thus even migrants with no access to hukou are able to buy food in markets at generally affordable prices ibid.

Inequality and Internal Migration in China

It has been estimated that there are some 20 million school-aged children among the transient population Fazhi Ribao 10 Sept. Apparently many schools refuse to accept children whose parents do not have temporary urban residence permits; city authorities expect they would get an even greater influx of migrants if they allowed these children to attend school ibid. Those schools that do accept the children of migrants have reportedly been charging at least twice the normal tuition, leaving education beyond the grasp of many families ibid.

According to Solinger, some families prefer to have their children work at odd jobs rather than pay the high school fees ibid. According to a March China Daily report carried by AFP, new regulations from the State Education Commission and the PSB forbid schools from charging higher fees for non-residents; as well, education services and enterprises are being encouraged to provide schools for migrants and their families AFP 11 Mar.

In the State Education Commission set up pilot projects in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Hebei and other areas to promote school attendance by children of migrant families, and eventually a national program is expected Fazhi Ribao 10 Sept. For now, however, the absence from school of many children of migrant families has affected vaccination rates AFP 9 Jan. In December the Chinese Ministry of Health announced plans to vaccinate some 60 million four-year-olds against polio, with a special focus on children in border or poverty-stricken areas and children of migrant families ibid.

In the general population, schools usually ensure that children get the requisite vaccinations AFP 9 Jan. Health care is normally covered through the danwei for the holders of urban hukou Ma Xia , ; The Economist 14 Feb. According to Solinger, in large cities only about 25 to 40 per cent of migrant labourers have medical coverage, with treatment very much dependent on the type of enterprise for which one is working, its management, and what the enterprise can afford Modern China Apr.

As reported above, generally contract workers in state-owned enterprises receive much better benefits than those in the non-state sector Modern China Apr.

Young Women Rural Migrant Workers in China’s West: Benefits of Schooling?

According to Solinger, migrants not covered by medical insurance are on their own CRF Summer a, :. The more desperate must throw themselves at the mercy of the city, which, if they are fortunate, might help out. One city's public health bureau claimed that in emergencies individuals would be treated immediately with payment collected later.

But few have the funds to reimburse the clinic, officials acknowledged, and would probably never pay back the debt. Other migrants are said to rely on travelling doctors with questionable credentials ibid. Migrant workers moving to cities are obligated to have or obtain three cards: a work permit, a temporary household registration card, and an identification card Asian Survey Nov. As Solinger explains:. This must be presented to the urban public security bureau, which then issues a temporary residence card. Possession of this card is supposedly mandatory before a person can be granted a licence to labor or to engage in commercial work Politics and Society Mar.

However, many migrants reportedly fail to register, and, according to Solinger, it is also "apparently a relatively simple matter to obtain, forge, and alter residence certificates, and one way of doing this is to bribe officials responsible for adding newcomers to the household registry" ibid. Indeed, a poll in Shanghai found that only 10 per cent of transients had their paperwork in order Shehui Sept. However, one Chinese source reported much better compliance rates after concerted government efforts to coordinate management of the floating population: according to official figures, by , Increasingly, Chinese Communist Party-run management committees dedicated to controlling the transient population are being formed at the national, provincial, county, municipal, and even neighbourhood levels ibid.

In December Xinhua reported on a special campaign, which since July , has focused on checking houses for rent 29 Dec. In Beijing over 3, houses which encroached on public land or facilities such as roads, and which were being rented, were dismantled and some owners were fined. Authorities in Shandong Province found nearly 18, households engaged in unauthorized renting ibid.

In officials in Guangdong cracked down on unregistered migrants, "clearing out and repatriating nearly 60, persons and getting nearly 40, individuals to return to their home areas voluntarily," according to Fazhi Ribao 10 Sept. Beijing's migrant communities, most notably Zhejiang Village, have been the subject of a number of clean-ups over the years: authorities have moved some 18, people from Zhejiang Village's Dahongmen district and torn down 10, illegal structures ibid. In Shanghai, efforts to monitor and control housing and repatriation of transients involve several different government departments: "the public security departments handle the housing, civil administration departments are responsible for managing education, and public security, civil administration, the people's armed police, the railways, and other departments handle escort duties jointly" Fazhi Ribao 10 Sept.

In a 29 July article Wang Liying of the Jilin Province PSB complains about the lack of coordination between different departments monitoring the floating population, and about the very poor communications between the areas that the migrants are leaving and the areas to which they are going Renkou Yanjiu 29 July One study in Jilin Province found that authorities in the home localities ignored nearly three-quarters of requests for information from the provinces to which the migrants had moved ibid.

Local officials may not be very motivated to put a stop to out-migration: not only does it ease local labour and population pressures, but remittances from migrant labourers to their families in home areas have become significant sources of local income Shehui Sept. Corrupt officials reportedly participate in issuing false documents to ease the way of people wishing to leave ibid. Even provincial governments have protested efforts to repatriate transient migrants from Beijing The Christian Science Monitor 2 Jan.

Solinger also points to the difficulties bureaucracies are having to coordinate the management of the floating population. She argues that there are so many accounts of offices being unable to clear out or manage the floating population "that it becomes clear that these offices stand to gain from their presence" ibid.

According to Solinger:. The units served by the floaters range from management departments to urban governments at various levels, to the banks, labor departments, and even the public security offices. As in any situation where bureaucratic rules are present, those with the power to oversee these rules are in a position to collect. Bribery is common, and its beneficiaries include not just the managing departments, which excessively demand payments, but also offices not authorized to take fees, such as the public security and the labor department itself ibid.


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The floating population has been blamed for a rise in crime rates in many cities, and police reportedly target them to a greater degree than they do permanent residents Asian Survey Nov. Cheng Li reports that migrants are often treated as scapegoats, and that many of those put to death in larger anti-crime campaigns in China are migrants who have not received a proper trial Asian Survey Nov. Also there has been a reported rise in organized crime involving migrants ibid. Among their activities are "gang leasing and borrowing of houses and shops to set up underground workshops where they make and sell phoney cigarettes, alcohol, soy sauce, invoices, and train tickets" ibid.

A September article reports that Beijing authorities cracked down in Zhejiang Village and arrested people for theft, drug use and trafficking, weapons possession, prostitution and pornography Fazhi Ribao 10 Sept. There have been incidents of backlash by residents against migrants Asian Survey Nov.

In December , for example, security forces opened fire in Shenzhen to quell a riot between some migrant workers and several hundred local residents; several people were killed in the brawl and many more injured ibid. Chinese authorities refused to comment on the specific cause of the riot, but tensions between locals and migrants were reportedly long-standing HongKong Standard 6 Dec.

Chinese authorities have long complained about lack of control over the transient population regarding family planning Zhou , ; AFP 5 Mar. In urban areas the danwei traditionally controls not only employment but also housing, social benefits and the dang'an , leaving officials with many levers to pressure families into compliance ibid. However, in general, family planning for permanent residents in large cities is still tightly controlled: urban birth rates remain low, permission to have even a first child can be difficult to obtain, penalties for second children can include job loss and heavy fines, and some areas have launched pilot projects to computerize family planning management, which in urban danweis, has included tracking female workers' menstrual cycles Zhongguo Renkou Bao 15 July ; Courrier international Oct.

In practice, according to Zhou, this meant nearly all rural families felt free to go ahead and have a second child Zhou , Zhou also documents the rise of informal "underground railways": networks of relatives and friends who help women travel to different locations to hide from family planning officials and give birth ibid. Some villages have become birth hiding places, where locals rent out rooms and provide services for pregnant women on the run ibid.

According to Zhou, local officials in the countryside collaborate in covering up this type of policy evasion ibid. As well, many rural women go to cities to have unauthorized children despite the stricter enforcement of family planning in cities; for migrants the controls are much looser, since most do not work in enterprises with danwei , and most are not dependent on hukou for accommodations or food ibid. In Shanghai the rate of unauthorized births is thirty times greater among the floating population than among permanent residents; in total, some 1 million "black" or unregistered children are born among the floating population every year Asian Survey Nov.