China: Beijing cracks down on unregistered migrant workers

Beijing on Friday launched a campaign to crack down on unregistered migrant workers ahead of the Olympic Games to ensure a “safe and harmonious security environment,” local media reported.

During a 39-day campaign, some 3,000 police would check identities and addresses of migrant workers in the Chinese capital, the Beijing News said, citing the municipal Public Security Bureau.
China calls its more than 150 million migrant workers who have moved from outlying towns and villages to booming cities in search of jobs, the “floating population”.

Beijing authorities have denied media reports that officials have discussed expelling up to a million migrant workers before the Games in August, although they have pledged to clear beggars and peddlers from inner city streets.

The sprawling Chinese capital has about 4.2 million migrant workers out of a population of about 16 million, according to official estimates, many of whom work in the city on Olympic infrastructure projects.

The police action would “strengthen the basic registration of the floating population and rental housing,” and “create a safe and harmonious security environment for the Olympics,” the paper quoted the Public Security Bureau as saying.

It would also give authorities a clearer picture of how many migrant workers actually lived in the city, it added.
Those found without temporary residence permits would be asked to get them, the report said, and those who refused to do so would be “given a warning or fined 50 or less yuan” (about $7), the paper said.

Experts in Beijing, which already scrambles to accommodate thousands of new arrivals every year, have advocated placing curbs on population growth to assure sufficient water supplies and ease infrastructure strains. (Reuters, reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Ken Wills and Sanjeev Miglani)

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