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300 'dead' with stroke of a pen

[ 2009-11-05 11:07]     字号 [] [] []  
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Hundreds of Chinese villagers in Dancheng, Central China's Henan province, are protesting that reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated after they were registered as dead and removed from village lists.

By recording the false deaths, local officials held back taxes to higher levels of government, but the victims are deprived of newly established medical insurance and pension plans.

The 300 people in Zhouzhuang village - a sixth of the population - discovered they were "dead" when a man tried to apply for a new identity book for his parents, according to a report yesterday.

Most were removed from the rolls between 1996 and 1998.

In China, every person is entered in a household record at birth, and the record is deleted after relatives report the death.

"There has been no information on us for nearly 10 years," one villager was quoted as saying.

Online commentators mocked the village officials' contention that they could not re-enter the villagers on the rolls, and urged a public investigation.

"People need to show a lot of evidence to claim a person's death, so how come that was so easily accomplished?" read one comment.


1. What do these false death claims deprive villagers of?

2. When were most of these villagers reported dead?

3. What did village officials say could be done about the situation?


1. Newly established medical insurance and pension plans.

2. Between 1996 and 1998.

3. Villagers could not be re-entered onto the household record rolls.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

300 'dead' with stroke of a pen

About the broadcaster:

300 'dead' with stroke of a pen

Casey Chin is an intern at the China Daily's website. When he's not shooting or producing videos he's trying to learn Chinese. He's from Sacramento, California (no, he doesn't know Arnold Schwarzenegger) and he just graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in journalism.