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Cablegate: Migrant Workers Elected to Guangdong People's Congress For

VZCZCXRO4658
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #0027 0170745
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170745Z JAN 08
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6805
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS GUANGZHOU 000027

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP/CM, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PGOV CH
SUBJECT: Migrant Workers Elected to Guangdong People's Congress for
First Time


1. (U) For the first time in Guangdong province (and perhaps in
other provinces as well), six migrant workers were elected to the
eleventh Guangdong People's Congress. According to local press
reports, the six, elected by municipal-level people's congresses,
could well represent more than 30 million migrant workers in the
province.

2. (U) The six migrant workers are:

-- Ma Xiaofeng, female, from Heilongjiang Province, working in the
Quality Control Department of the Guangzhou Pearl River Piano
Group;

-- He Xiyun, female, from Hunan Province, working as a cleaner at
the Guangzhou Jingjing Cleaning Company;

-- Zhang Zhiya, male, from Jiangsu Province, working at the Shenzhen
Jiade Property Management Company;

-- Wei Xiaoming, female, from Sichuan Province, working as an
administrative assistant at the Shenzhen KXD Multimedia Company;

-- Fang Weizhen, female, from Hubei Province, working at the trade
union at the Guangdong Fudi Auto Company in Foshan; and

-- Zheng Xiaoqiong, female, from Sichuan Province, working at the
Dongguan office of the Minghao Trading Company.

3. (U) According to Deputy Chief of the Election Committee of the
Guangdong People's Congress Standing Committee Yang Chengyong,
candidates elected as "migrant worker representatives" must meet
three criteria: their hukou, or residency permit, must state that
they are a "rural resident;" the hukou must be registered outside of
Guangdong Province; and they must be real workers, not management.
In the same news report, Yang also said that the Guangdong People's
Congress would elect one of the migrant worker representatives to
the National People's Congress this year.

4. (U) COMMENT: These developments may stem from a 2007 speech in
which National People's Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman
Sheng Huaren noted that representation of farmers and workers in the
National People's Congress had been in decline. In his speech,
Sheng said that, "in provinces and municipalities where there is a
high presence of migrant workers, there should be migrant worker
representatives." Though contemporary news reports heralded the
speech as "great progress in China's democratic politics" and as a
signal that the "highest-ranking power institute has come to pay
attention to the constitutional rights and social roles of migrant
workers," it remains to be seen whether membership of a token number
of migrant worker representatives in the already underpowered
People's Congress (with its 790 representatives) will make any
noticeable difference.

GOLDBERG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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