More on the draft rules for permanent residence status.
The draft rules on permanent residence for foreigners, for which public opinions are being solicited up to March 27, have sparked a fierce public debate.
Three experts share their views on the issue with China Daily's Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow:
China needs to follow a more open policy
This may not be a good time to introduce such a draft, because the whole nation is still focused on fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic. The Chinese economy is under increasing pressure to maintain healthy economic growth, even though there is a pause in the havoc-wrecking China-US trade war.
That a number of enterprises are struggling to overcome the impact of the epidemic has exacerbated people's worries for employment. As such, the prospect of more foreigners settling down in China and competing for the seemingly limited resources and opportunities has sounded the alarm for some.
Yet many people seem to forget that what matters in the end is competitiveness, as only highly competitive foreigners that would be eligible to become permanent residents, which in turn will help improve the country's overall competitiveness. The key is to sharpen Chinese enterprises' and people's competitiveness so they can face the challenge of the times.
Some say China is yet to develop a mature enough social governance system to handle the expected large influx of foreigners. But if we refrain from absorbing more international talents and improving our innovation capability now, the pressure on our global competitiveness and economy could build up even more quickly.
To become a major global power, China needs to attract talents from across the world. And with the dividends of joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 declining, China needs to adapt to an even more competitive world by enhancing its competitiveness as the pressure builds up. So highly talented foreigners should be allowed to achieve their dreams in China.
Wang Yiwei, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China
High bar needed to facilitate innovation
China is not suffering from a shortage of workers, and its working-age population will be more than 720 million even in 2050, as estimated by the United Nations, and the structural shortage could be reduced by measures including improving education, training and migration inside the country.
Besides, in this age of information technology and knowledge-based economy, China's demand for workers will decrease as its labor-intensive economy transforms into one driven by innovation. Not to mention that high-tech including artificial intelligence and robots have already reduced a certain percentage of manual labor.
Besides, with living quality significantly improved, China's large population may exert higher pressure on socioeconomic development, resources and the environment. China has long been facing challenges in providing employment to all college graduates, especially because about 8.5 million youths pass out of colleges every year. Also, with a number of enterprises closing due to the epidemic, the unemployment situation could be further aggravated, and less-skilled workers might find it hard to land a job.
In other words, it is too early to open the gate wider to foreigners.
And if the gate is opened wider, an extremely high bar should be set to grant foreigners permanent residence in China－similar to that in the United States. For instance, a targeted talents introduction policy should be worked out to bring in talents that could help expedite China's innovation-driven development and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Yuan Xin, a professor of demography at Nankai University
Guard against both narrow nationalism and loopholes
The online backlash against the draft rules many not speak for all Chinese, but it reflects some deep-rooted social apprehension over favorable treatment to foreigners in China.
Partly because some foreign countries bullied China in the 19th and early 20th centuries, some Chinese people continue to view foreigners suspiciously. In fact, some Westerners still have a strong bias against China.
So the authorities should seriously reflect on the policy to grant preferential treatment to foreigners. One cannot help crying inequality when reading reports on foreign students in Wuhan getting eight facial masks a day while many ordinary Chinese are scratching their head thinking about how to get even one mask.
The fact that China is making greater efforts to build a foreigner-friendly image and seek more support from the international community is understandable. To be honest, the rules themselves are not so flawed, but those opposing them are just reflecting some people's dissatisfaction with preferential treatment to foreigners, while some have misunderstood the draft rules and believe that China will be ensnared into an immigrant trap like Germany.
Indeed, the rules are meant to attract talents, experts and elites, not refugees and asylum seekers. China needs to further open up and attract more talents, as history shows that a country can achieve profound development only when it is open and inclusive, just like the US was a few years ago and ancient China was during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
The resistance against the rules can be attributed to conservatism and nationalism, against which we should stay vigilant, because only further opening-up can ensure China's long-term competitiveness.
The draft rules should not be held hostage by these ideological trends. Yet the rules should be made more detailed and specific and all their loopholes plugged.
Zhao Jun, a professor of law at Beijing Normal University
Not clear what this means. Present residence card is valid for 10 years, does permanent mean no time limit?
The Ministry of Justice on Thursday published draft rules on foreigners' permanent residence in order to solicit public opinion.
The draft rules are meant to further the country's opening up to the world, standardize the administration of foreigners' permanent residence in China and protect the legal rights of aliens who have obtained permanent residence.
Foreigners with internationally acknowledged achievements in the fields of economics, science and technology, education, culture, health and sports will be able to apply for permanent residence, according to the draft rules.
Foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic and social development, including engaging in public welfare activities and promoting exchanges between China and other countries, can apply upon the recommendations of relevant national departments or provincial-level governments, they said.
Talented foreigners in urgent demand in some industries or regions of the country who are recommended by relevant authorities－including university professors and senior managers in high-end enterprises－may apply for permanent residence, they added.
The draft regulations stipulate that foreigners whose investment in China is at least 10 million yuan ($1.42 million) or who invest in an area under the country's encouragement measures with the amount of investment, tax payments and the number of Chinese citizens employed meeting prescribed standards, are eligible to apply.
Eligible applicants also include spouses of Chinese citizens.
The draft rules added a new section regarding conditions under which foreign employees in China can apply for permanent residence, including foreigners with doctoral degrees or diplomas from an internationally renowned university who have worked in China for at least three years and have resided in China for at least a year.
The draft rules require permanent foreign residents to live in China for at least three months each year.
Departments under the State Council and government at all levels should provide convenience for permanent foreign residents when they need banking, education, medical and transportation services, according to the draft rules.
Aliens with permanent residence may pass through channels for Chinese citizens when entering or leaving the country. They can purchase commercial housing in China, and are eligible to use the housing fund, they said.
Permanent foreign residents or their children who move with them can receive compulsory education in China at no charge.
Organizations and individuals can submit their feedback on the draft regulations until March 27 via the ministry's official website or by email.
Of the three articles debaser list above two are outdated. Any info of more than a year in China you have to regard as being outdated and of no value.
The only article of this year is full of mistakes and starts with a lot of bias; the header is Elusive Chinese Green Card. There is nothing elusive about it and it is not a green card. The article is pretentious as well with statements like “Look no further for insight” which is then followed by the bare basics and even that is full of mistakes.
The name of the thing is: Foreign Permanent Resident ID card. It is a resident permit that is valid for 10 years and like all residents permits you can be kicked out of the country for serious misbehaviour. But not for overstaying your visa because you don’t need a visa. The article is clearly wrong there.
It is wrong as well that the Criminal record check is to verify that you haven’t been convicted of any crimes in China. The criminal record check is from your home country (and from countries you lived in more than 2 years during the last ten years). Thus that you have not committed crimes elsewhere. If you committed a crime in China then they already know that.
Than the article refers to 10,000 by 2016 as an indication that it is very hard to get. Well in 2016 things changed.
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