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Police deny bar raids on foreigners

By Miranda Shek (Global Times)

08:20, June 05, 2012

Shanghai police denied Monday that they have launched a citywide campaign to crack down on illegal foreign residents, after rumors within the expatriate community said that officers raided two bars on Yongfu Road late Friday night.

Shanghai's public security bureau added that it does not intend to carry out random ID checks on foreigners, saying that it will not follow Beijing's 100-day campaign, which began last month with the aim of weeding out foreigners illegally staying in the capital.

"Shanghai has no plans to start the same measures as Beijing," Lu Feng, a press officer for Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, told the Global Times Monday. "Local authorities will not knock on doors to check passports, nor will they randomly stop foreigners on the streets for ID checks."

Lu, however, strongly advised foreigners to carry their passports and visas at all times, or photocopies of the documents.

"The same goes for Chinese residents," he said. "Everyone should always carry identification with them."

Lu also reminded foreigners that unless they are staying at a hotel, they are by law required to register at local police stations within 24 hours of arriving in Shanghai from abroad.

Apart from foreign tourists, the rule also applies to expats in China, who are visiting Shanghai, even if they hold a Chinese visa or residence permit. Individuals caught disobeying can be fined up to 500 yuan ($78), Chinese law stipulates.

After the alleged raids at popular bars el Coctel and The Apartment on Friday evening, the rumors were addressed on a Shanghai expat City Weekend blog, which included an email excerpt that has spread among foreigners in the city - who belong to a demographic of some 210,000 people, according to the last census in 2010.

The post said that 50-plus officers raided the Xuhui district bars in the former French Concession around 11 pm on Friday, and used security devices to check the validity of bar-goers' foreign passports.

The claims were further denied Monday by the district's police bureau. Tao Jiong, a press officer for Xuhui district police, said, however, that a small handful of officers were sent to the area in an unrelated case, after receiving noise complaints.

A bar manager at The Apartment, surnamed Huang, Monday confirmed the story, saying that four officers showed up just past midnight, after people had complained that the bar was too loud.

"The crowds outside were warned to keep it down," he told the Global Times Monday. "But, it's nothing new; that's what they do when residents complain about noise."

Huang added that the officers went on their way after, saying that no one was taken away or asked to show their passport to them.

According to Chinese law, foreigners in China who outstay their visas risk either deportation, fines of up to 10,000 yuan or detention for as many as 10 days; those employed without a work permit can be charged up to 1,000 yuan.


Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

urabus at 2012-06-05203.97.220.*
Just weed those foreigners out if their intention is to cause troubles or debase Chinese cultures. Do not hesitate to kick them out or punish them.
Canada at 2012-06-0570.36.49.*
Fines of 500 yuan or 1000 yuan are a small amount of money for Westerners, not much of a deterrent.

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