Wang Yuancheng, deputy to the National People's Congress, or
China's parliament, said more deputy seats should be reserved for
the nation's rapid growing migrant workers.
He noted that currently, every 960,000 rural residents can have
one NPC deputy, but the same number of urban population can have
four NPC deputies.
Wang, a migrant-worker-turned principal of a vocational training
school in Taian in eastern Shandong Province, said his motion this
year is vital to ensure social equality.
"More deputies from migrant workers means their expectations can
be better voiced and the quality of panel discussions be improved,"
He added that the deputies like him, in relatively small
numbers, often feel hesitated to publicize their true hopes with
the large number of officials including provincial governors and
mayors sitting along with them.
China has 200 million migrant workers, of which more than 120
million work in cities and the remainder work in towns. Official
figures show 13 million farmers will become migrant workers each
year if China reaches the urbanization target of 56 percent.
The Chinese government and NPC deputies have given top priority
to the problems of migrant workers and worked out measures to help
them get back wages and provide their children with opportunities
to attend public schools in the cities where they work.
"The migrant workers should improve themselves first before
being elected NPC deputies and the local people's congresses," said
Wang. He has submitted several other motions on promoting equal
education and employment opportunities, and providing affordable
medicare for migrant workers since 2003.
The Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC will start on March 5 in the
Great Hall of the People to the west of Tiananmen Square in the
heart of Beijing.
(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2007)