China pledges co-op with ROK to deal with illegal immigration

17:30, October 21, 2010      

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China will cooperate with other countries to deal with illegal immigration, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Thursday in response to reports that a group of Chinese tourists had absconded from a cruise ship in the Republic of Korea.

Forty-four Chinese tourists had reportedly failed to return to their cruise ship, the Costa Classica, on time after taking a tour of ROK's Jeju Island earlier this week.

ROK police said the tourists left their passports on the ship, but took their luggage, apparently to enter the country with the intention of staying illegally and getting jobs.

Police had managed to locate 11 of them, but the other 33 were still missing, reports said.

"China has received notice from the Republic of Korea's administrative department, and is identifying the information and its details," Ma told a regular briefing.

China held to a clear principle and stance on illegal immigration, and would cooperate with other countries to properly deal with it, he said.

Chinese passport holders receive a 30-day tourist visa on arrival if they take direct flights or a cruise to Jeju, but ROK police can detain them if they fail to follow the agenda arranged with Chinese travel agencies.

Source: Xinhua


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