Source: Xinhua | 2012-4-26 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
CHINA is to crack down on foreigners illegally entering, living or working in China, a senior police officer said yesterday.
Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning was delivering a report on the administration of entry-exit, residence and employment of foreigners to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature.
Yang said the crackdown will include improving visa policies, strengthening border controls, repatriating illegal aliens, and setting up repatriation locations in regions that have large numbers of such foreigners.
Yang said it was difficult to manage foreigners illegally entering, living or working in China, as there were no detainment locations for them and a lack of police staff who spoke a foreign language.
"Some foreigners refuse to provide their real identities, and some foreign embassies and consulates in China are inefficient in verifying identities," Yang said.
Most illegal foreigners are from neighboring countries, said Yang, adding that language training, housekeeping and labor-intensive industries were the main sectors employing them.
Police last year investigated more than 20,000 incidents in which foreigners illegally entered, lived or worked on China's mainland, double the number in 1995, Yang said.
Almost 600,000 foreigners lived in China for more than six months in 2011, compared to only 20,000 in 1980, while 220,000 foreigners were employed on the mainland last year, compared to 74,000 in 2000.
A draft law on exit and entry administration was submitted to lawmakers for its second reading on Tuesday.
The draft stipulates harsher punishments for people who enter or exit China illegally.
Yang said China will issue more green cards and ease restrictions for visa-free entry to encourage more talented individuals from overseas to work in the country.
"We will increase the eligibility quota for green cards and consider extending the applicable scope for duty-free entry and multiple-entry visas in order to make China more competitive in soliciting foreign investment and talent," Yang said.
By the end of 2011, 4,752 foreigners were given a Permanent Residence Card, or the Chinese equivalent of a green card.
Ordinary visas will be granted to foreigners who enter the country to work, study, visit relatives, travel or conduct business, as well as to those who fall under the "talent introduction" category, according to the draft law.
Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said last month that China will make greater efforts this year to resolve visa and residency permit issues for foreigners.
China will introduce favorable policies for foreigners in relation to social insurance, taxation, medical services, education for their children and academic funding, Yin said.