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China launches reform of Chinese 'green cards'

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-17 15:30
BEIJING - China launched a reform of permanent residence certificates for foreigners, according to a reform plan issued by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

The "foreigner's permanent residence card," known as the Chinese "green card," will be renamed the "foreigner's permanent residence identity card," according to the plan.

Like the identity cards used by Chinese citizens, foreigners' identity information will be embedded in the chips of the machine-readable cards, which will be shared by railway and airline departments, hotels and banks.

Approved by the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, the reform plan serves the nation's talent development strategy and responds to social concerns.

The reform also aims to provide foreigners easier access to public services in China, and the work is expected to be finished before June.

In 2016, 1,576 foreigners became permanent Chinese residents, an increase of 163 percent over the previous year, according to the MPS.

China has made huge progress in easing its residence and entry policies for foreigners since September 2015, which has helped attract more talent from overseas and boosted international exchanges.

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