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Govt taking more standardized approach to expats

(Global Times)

08:51, June 27, 2012

(People's Daily Online)

The draft law on exit and entry administration was submitted to the National People's Standing Committee on Tuesday. In the document, the shortest term of validity for foreigners' work certificates will be cut to 90 days. The term of validity for a residence certificate will range from 180 days to five years, according to media reports.

Experts see this adjustment as a regulation complementing the crackdown on illegal foreign immigrants to China in several cities. The draft indicates that Chinese authorities will be stricter, more standard and more fine-tuned when dealing with matters concerning expats and foreign immigrants.

Several recent public cases involving foreign residents in China, and the related treatment by authorities, have led to repercussions both in Chinese and expat communities. While the Chinese public has complained about the preferable conditions long enjoyed by foreign residents, immigrants seeking residency or jobs are whining about the vagueness of regulations and fickle policies.

The recent demonstration by African residents against the death of a Nigerian in Guangzhou is an example of how tense the situation can become.

Clearer administrative and legislative efforts from the government are the only way to ease doubts on both sides. It is hoped that there will be more detailed, systematic rules and regulations dealing with the administration of foreigners in China.

The new rules should emphasize both regulation and service, and take into consideration the customs of foreign residents.

As China continues to open up, more foreigners are coming to China, and accordingly cases of foreigners violating laws are also rising. It is a new management challenge for metropolises in China.

Local residents no longer see aliens as objects of pure curiosity, but are increasingly facing problems brought by the growing foreign population.

Sweeping the problem under the carpet is not an option. But it is not necessary to see the entire foreign community in a negative light.

The problems should be tackled under a standardized legal framework, so all interested parties can have a clear path to chart.


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