China / Government

Illegal employment targeted in NE China's Yanbian

By Chen Xin in Beijing and Han Junhong in Changchun (China Daily) Updated: 2012-05-25 03:49

An autonomous prefecture in Northeast China's Jilin province has started a five-month campaign to crack down on illegal employment, overstaying and illegal entry of foreigners, said local authorities.

Bordering Russia on the east and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the south, Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture plans to carry out the crackdown from May 15 to Oct 15, and the campaign aims to "eradicate roots of crimes and ensure social stability", said Li Yongxue, director of the exit-entry administration under the Yanbian public security bureau.

Examples of foreigners in Yanbian who will face visa scrutiny include senior citizens of the Republic of Korea who overstay their visa after visiting relatives in Yanbian as well as citizens of the ROK who have married a Chinese person and have brought their children to China without residence permits.

"Foreigners who illegally enter, work and overstay are hidden troubles, and they might pose potential threats to social stability," Li told China Daily on Thursday. A man from the DPRK stabbed a policeman after burglarizing a local household in Yanbian this April, he said.

"We will check in villages where foreigners gather and in sectors such as the service and processing industries and farms to look at passports and see if they have residence permits," he said.

Li said the campaign is also targeting illegal activities organized by personnel from overseas non-governmental and religion-related organizations.

"Some overseas organizations seek to commit large-scale illegal activities, such as illegal migration to a third country via China," he said.

Currently around 5,000 foreigners possess residence permits in Yanbian, he said, most of them are from the ROK, the DPRK, Russia and Japan.

Li refused to provide the number of illegal entry cases reported in the region but said the number is declining. The prefecture’s border cities and counties, such as Hunchun, Tumen and Longjing, will focus on cracking down on illegal entry and places such as Yanji, Dunhua and Wangqing will mainly crack down on illegally residency, he said.

Yanbian's campaign was announced right after a similar action started in Beijing on Tuesday of last week. The capital's 100-day campaign focuses on areas like Sanlitun in Chaoyang district and universities in Haidian district, where foreigners gather.

Beijing authorities declined to provide updated information about the campaign when reached by China Daily on Thursday but they confirmed that there will be a news conference regarding the plan next week.

Xiang Dang, a professor at Beijing-based Chinese People's Public Security University, said it’s a common practice to regularly launch campaigns to tackle the illegal employment, overstaying and illegal entry of foreigners in other countries.

Xiang suggests making such campaigns routine in China to guarantee social stability and protect other foreigners' legal rights.

"It’s easy for some illegal entrants, and some who are illegally residing and do not have stable income, to commit crimes, and illegal employment brings disorder to the job market," he said.

China is amending the law on exit and entry administration to possibly include a more severe penalty for illegal entry, overstaying and illegal employment of foreigners, he said.

"Severe punishment is an international trend, and many countries have made illegal entry, overstaying or illegal employment a crime. But currently in China offenders would only be punished by fines, detention or repatriation," said Xiang.

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