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Lt_Ripley

The List: The 10 Worst Chinese Laws

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Lt_Ripley

The List: The 10 Worst Chinese Laws

Posted August 2008

China may yet succeed in building a kinder, gentler autocracy, but its recent legal reforms fall far short of democratic ideals.

Article 105 of the Criminal Law

What it says: Criminalizes “organizing, scheming or acting to subvert the political power of the state and overthrow the socialist system” and “incitement to subvert the political power of the state and overthrow the socialist system by spreading rumors, slander or other means.”

What it does: Although China’s constitution ostensibly guarantees the right to free speech and expression, statutes such as this one allow the state to suppress all criticism. Subversion charges are a common fate for China’s activist bloggers and journalists.

Hukou (Household Registration) System

What it says: Citizens are classified according to place of residence and socioeconomic status. Parents pass down their classification to their children, making hukou a form of social identity. Rural migrants are not allowed to relocate to cities unless they meet certain requirements, including a “stable job or source of income” and a “stable place of residence.”

What it does: The hukou system, excoriated by critics as “China’s apartheid,” traces its origins to the fifth century, B.C. Reforms have lifted restrictions in recent years and enforcement has slackened off, but some provinces still have hukou on the books. Migrants who don’t meet requirements have trouble obtaining public services such as healthcare or education for their children. Some officials defend the system, warning that too-rapid changes will lead to soaring crime and social chaos. But earlier this year, a government-sponsored report suggested that hukou be scrapped altogether to grant farmers the same status as urbanites.

cont .........

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4453

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