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China eliminates more redundant certificates, procedures

Updated: Aug 11,2016 7:31 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has reduced unnecessary identity confirmation when obtaining certain permits, in its latest move to eliminate redundant procedures.

A government circular released on Aug 11 specified 14 items of personal information that do not need to be “proven” by any other documents, such as previous names, gender and ethnicity, as this information “is self-evident” and included on identification cards and household registration papers.

Various authorities should not ask residents to prove self-evident information such as previous addresses or relationship to their spouse or offspring, it said.

The circular, which will take effect on Sept 1, was authored by 12 departments including the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Ministry of Civil Affairs and National Health and Family Planning Commission, in a bid to “simplify redundant procedures and provide convenience for the people.”

“We want to cut all processes that can be eliminated,” the MPS said in a separate statement.

Chinese residents must secure a number of documents and certificates to gain permits for overseas travel, their children’s schooling, having a baby and others.

To obtain a permit to have a baby, for instance, a couple must fill out an application form, provide their ID cards, household registration papers, marriage certificate and have all these documents stamped or signed by their employers, communities and managers of the places they belong to. They should also provide certificates that prove that they abided by the one-child policy, which was abolished in 2015.

Last year, a story made the rounds about a Beijinger who wanted to travel overseas. He was asked to prove that “his mother was his mother” to get his travel permit. Premier Li Keqiang called the whole debacle “shameful.”

The circular on Aug 11 also listed 15 conditions that need to be proven. Among them six, such as the marriage status, education background and death, will still need to be confirmed, but no longer by the police.

The police are responsible for issuing nine other certificates, including criminal records, temporary IDs (if the originals are lost) and adoption registration.

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