Growing popular pressure pushes for deep reform of the Chinese household registration, or hukou, system.
The language was blunt; the tone direct. "We hope that decades of Chinese government maladministration can end with this generation. . . . Let the next generation enjoy the sacred constitutional guarantees of freedom, democracy and equality."
A press statement by overseas Chinese dissident groups? A human rights report by the U.S. State Department? No. This was a unique joint editorial published March 1 by 13 independent-leaning Chinese media outlets, spread across 11 provinces and cities, in the lead-up to the annual session of the national legislature, which concluded Sunday. The target of their criticism: the Chinese household registration, or hukou, system. The editorial is but one sign of the growing popular pressure for deep reform of the system.
[The full version of this op-ed appeared in the March 16 edition of the LA Times.]