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Foreigners will be faced with a question of identity

[ 2012-05-29 10:55] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Mike Jones took his passport and rental contract to Shuangjing police station in Beijing's Chaoyang district on Sunday.

The 26-year-old US citizen, who has been in China since 2008, had not felt the need to register with the police before a 100-day crackdown was launched on May 15 to combat what’s become known as the "three illegals". This refers to foreigners who have entered illegally, overstayed their visa or been employed without obtaining a work permit.

The freelance documentary producer returned from Los Angeles on Saturday and said "turning himself in" was the first thing he did.

At a counter with a sign reading "Temporary residence registration for foreigners", a policewoman took Jones' passport and checked that his visa was in order.

The policewoman said Shuangjing police station issues a large number of police registration cards. The area is popular with foreigners for two reasons: It is in close proximity to the central business district and also the apartments are relatively modern.

Citizens of the ROK, the US, Canada, Russia and Japan were the top five nationalities involved in "three illegal" cases in 2011, according to the exit-entry administration of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

More than 20,000 "three illegal" foreigners were dealt with nationwide last year, according to Yang Huanning, vice-minister of public security.

However, the crackdown has provoked controversy within Beijing's expatriate community and the overwhelming reaction has been one of concern.

"Obviously, more foreigners will arrive in the years to come, because of China's economic development and the increasing number of business and cultural exchanges. Also more foreigners will come to seek business opportunities and work as their home economies deteriorate," said Xu Guangjian, deputy director of the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University. "However, as more foreigners arrive, the problems concerning their presence will also gradually appear."

China has very clear rules governing the influx of overseas students in the country, but hasn't the same level of expertise when it comes to those who come here for work. It is still a weak link in the management chain, he said.

Xu added that with the increasing numbers of foreigners, Beijing and other cities will need to establish transparent and updated regulations, under which the rights of both foreigners and Chinese can be better protected.

"We need to admit that the majority of foreigners in China are good people and that those who misbehave only account for a small proportion. We should use other countries' experience of immigration as a guide, and draw up new rules on the presence of foreigners. Meanwhile, we should also establish a long-term inspection mechanism and not resort to a campaign such as this," said Xu.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Foreigners will be faced with a question of identity

About the broadcaster:

Foreigners will be faced with a question of identity

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.