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Residents of SARs, Taiwan hail mainland residence card

(Global Times)    08:34, September 04, 2018

Mainland policies provide benefits on either side of Straits

Residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan living in the Chinese mainland welcomed their newly issued residence cards, which will allow them to enjoy the same convenience as mainland citizens.

More than 6,000 public security departments on the Chinese mainland on Saturday began to accept mainland residence card applications from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents.

Residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan can apply for the residence card as long as they have lived in the mainland for at least six months, have a stable job or are studying on the mainland.

Cheng Po-yu, 31, from Taipei, Taiwan told the Global Times on Monday that he went to the Xingucheng police station in Beijing's Shijingshan district on Saturday morning to apply.

It took Cheng 10 minutes to complete the application. His new residence card will be available within 20 working days. Cheng is the manager of Shougang Fund Beijing Vstartup Co Ltd, an institute which helps Taiwan students apply to mainland universities, obtain internship opportunities at mainland companies or start their own business in the mainland.

"With the new residence card, I will first apply for a credit card," and "the 18-digit residence card, which is similar to the identity card used by Chinese mainland citizens, would bring tremendous convenience to our daily lives," Cheng noted.

Cheng was not the only applicant who rushed to the police station. "I was the first applicant at the police station near my home," Bob Xu, a Hong Kong resident who has been working at a Beijing-based media company since 2013, told the Global Times on Monday.

It took him 15 minutes to submit his application on Saturday.

"Since we do not have a Chinese mainland identity card, it was very inconvenient for us," he said. "For instance, we could not print booked train tickets from ticket machines at railway stations in the mainland, nor live in hotels without qualification to host residents from outside the Chinese mainland," Xu said.

He noted that applying for a mainland residence card is free.

The Public Security Department of South China's Guangdong Province said it received 2,030 applications on Saturday. Other provinces and cities didn't release the data yet.

Sharing opportunities

Zhang Li-qi, a Peking University student from Taiwan, said that the new residence card, with Radio Frequency Identification technology, would save him time as it could connect to online systems. "It would be like a key to better opportunities in the mainland."

However, Chiu Chui-cheng, spokesperson at "the Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan," said on Friday that the authorities on the island of Taiwan were considering limiting Taiwan people who hold the mainland residence card from being appointed to key positions in "government or public institutes" in the island, Taiwan-based media reported.

The mainland denied that issuing resident cards is "a political move." Long Mingbiao, deputy chief of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on August 16 that the residence card would "meet the needs of Taiwan residents to study, work and live in the mainland."

Zhang told the Global Times on Monday that the limitation set by Taiwan authorities is a "human rights violation." He plans to apply for a "civil servant" job in Taiwan in the future.

"More and more Taiwan residents have been seeking to work and live in the mainland for a long time," Lü Cuncheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

"Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party is worried about the Chinese mainland and Taiwan getting closer, so it's trying to misread and stigmatize policies," Lü told the Global Times on Monday. "But the policies are providing greater convenience, and it can share the benefits to people from either side of the Taiwan Straits."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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