(clarified by telephone with requester) Current use of household registration in China and the method by which the relevant authorities take note of the fact that a person previously marked on the registration is no longer resident at that address, including information on the cancellation of the registration. [CHN4874]

According to a spokesperson at the PRC embassy in Ottawa, the household registration system is still used in the People's Republic of China. If a person changes her or his address, a transfer of the household registration must be applied for at the local office of the Public Security Bureau. This application for transfer is then presented to the same office in the person's new place of residence. Usually, according to the embassy spokesperson, moves, births and deaths are recorded in the household register. The "book" is kept by each family, but changes are made only by the Public Security Bureau. The registration can be "annulled" if the whole family emigrates, but if some family members leave, their registration is "removed." Usually, there are no periodic checks of the registration, according to the Chinese official. When asked what happens when it is discovered that someone registered in the household registration "book" is no longer resident at that address, the embassy spokesperson noted that this "very rarely happens" because it is the responsibility of each household to report changes in status to the local office of the Public Security Bureau.

According to an Asia Watch researcher in New York, the household register, or Hukou system, is still used in China to specify where a person is allowed to reside. It is a very "tight" system which restricts internal movement, according to Asia Watch, and it is being strictly enforced recently. If a person has not registered in a certain city, then that person is not allowed to reside there. Even if one were a resident of a certain city and went to spend one night at the home of an acquaintance in another city, one would be obliged to register this fact at the local Public Security Bureau.

According to the Asia Watch researcher, police regularly do spot-checks of the household register and a person resident in a house who is not properly registered can possibly be detained and then checked for political background, i.e. connections to the pro-democracy movements.

The information provided by the Chinese Embassy and Asia Watch cannot currently be corroborated in written sources available to the IRBDC, with the exception of that information previously available in Response to Information Request No. CHN4015.