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Legal status for seekers of asylum (3)

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

09:44, July 02, 2012

Having the designation of illegal foreign resident bars a person from employment or from receiving social welfare, he said.

"I hope the latest stipulation will help make refugees' lives in China easier, allowing them to take language and vocational training during their stay," he said. "Many refugees are talented or are specialists in certain fields, and they can be of great use to China if they are treated fairly."

The new Exit and Entry Administration Law will include several measures meant both to attract talented foreigners to China and to curb illegal entries and employment.

China has welcomed a rocketing number of foreign visitors since opening up its borders in the late 1970s. From January to September 2011, 260 million arrivals and departures took place in the country, according to the Ministry of Public Security and foreign affairs. The figure for 1980 was 12.1 million.

Beijing, whose population of foreigners with residence permits only lags behind Shanghai's, was home to nearly 120,000 foreigners at the end of 2011, according the Ministry of Public Security.

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