Each year in early March, China's top legislative and political advisory bodies convene their annual meetings, known as the "two sessions". Lawmakers and political advisors across China will arrive in Beijing for the annual gathering.
China Daily invites you to write down your questions or suggestions on the things you care most about in China, like visa regulation, the green card system, taxation, job opportunities, air pollution, the economy etc.
Our reporters will put your questions or suggestions to the deputies of the two sessions. Their response will be recorded and posted on our website.
We welcome and appreciate your participation. Participants whose feedback is used will get a free gift. Please leave a comment below. Thank you again.
My first questions/suggestions would be in regard to visa procurement. I've been here for 5 years and was made to leave for 6 months. Of course, from statistics that I've read, 93% of those who made to 'sit out' for six months, never return. I mean, who can go for six months with no income and, if they've been here for as long as I have, maintain two residences, one in China and another in the USA, for six months?
A suggestion that I would make is, make the Z visa requirement easier on foreigners who come here. I think that most foreign teachers who come to China come because it is in their heart to come here. The pay isn't bad compared to the average Chinese teacher, however, it is extremely low compared to what teachers make in the USA. To make them go through the many, many steps of procuring a Z visa will keep most from not ever considering coming to China. Thus, you get a lot of lower quality or unqualified foreign teachers. I owned a successful private school in America for 15 years. I sold it and retired in 2015. I decided to come to China to help Chinese children learn English. I've been very successful in placing the amazing Chinese students I've taught in schools like Harvard, Princeton, UCLA, University of Chicago and other top 100 schools in America. But, the difficulty and very unclear instructions for the process of getting a Z visa will make any foreign teacher want to go to another country where they are trying to actively attract good quality foreign teachers.
One other suggestion would be, protect loyal and law-abiding foreign teachers here. I was cheated out of two months of pay by a real estate management company. When I went to local police and authorities, I got no help. No one cared. They said, "It's none of our business." In America, those guys would be in prison. It seems in China, they are free to go and cheat more people.
As the husband of a Chinese citizen I find it relatively easy to get a visa (residence permit) here lasting 3 years. Conversely, my Chinese wife, a retired surgeon, can only get a 6 month's tourist visa to enter the UK where I was born and am a passport holder. Seemingly the Chinese government is more liberal than the British one in this regard.
That said, I have lived in China for 10 years and you would think that after all this time I could get something a little more permanent as the "green card" is not available to ordinary mortals like me.
Does China intend to be a little more hospitable in extending residency rights to people who have been here for many years, been granted their residentcy rights annually, each time after an arduous examination of the applicant's merits?
Here is the reason for my question: if you are legally married to a Chinese, you should not have to ask your spouse to formally invite you in writing to live in China. Such a requirement does exist and is followed by the relevant officials.
Also, why can't spouses get a resident's permit for more than one year?
I would like to bring up issues about the business environment in China.For foreign businesses and foreign indivuduals who want to establish businesses in the country, the legal and regulatory framework in China is quite challenging.
Big corporations with armies of lawyers, both foreign and Chinese, working for them have no difficulties, but individuals wishing to start small and medium size businesses (which are acknowledged to be the backbone of sustainable growth in future) almost always have to rely on business consulting companies to assist in the registration and running of companies.
In my experience, especially outside first and second tier cities (where business and growth is more desperately needed), these consulting companies cannot provide very good service in terms of staying up to date with ever changing regulations.Quite often they try to provide services that they have been providing for decades, and utilizing newer business models and structures (for example partnership enterprises) is often not possible for them, because both these consultants and the local authorities are not up-to-date with newest regulations.
I would ask, how can China improve the flow of information about regulatory changes from Beijing's lawmakers to provincial and city authorities, business consultants, and other entities that make up the business environment in China.
For example, could government take more direct role in providing business consulting services for foreigners (and Chinese citizens too), so they would not have to rely solely on commercial business consultants?
The number of foreigners entering the UK in the past 10 years exceeds the number of foreigners who entered the UK in the preceding 1,000 years. Similar situations exist in other "English-speaking" countries, such as the US, AUS, Canada, Ireland, and NZ, for example.
That being the case, would it not be sensible when foreigners apply for work in China within the English language schools sector, to ensure they are natives of the country their passport is from, as opposed to being naturalised foreigners? I have seen many people claiming to be British or American, but although they have the passport, they were not born in the UK or US, didn't grow up in the UK or US, and so are not products of the UK or US education systems.
Moreover, their English is often grammatically flawed and spoken with a foreign accent.
Therefore, it seems that note must be taken of where people were born and educated, and not which passport they hold.
As things are, at this moment in time, the English education system of China is being damaged by such issues.
I live in central Pudong and our internet speed is terrible especially in the evenings and weekend when more people in the apartment area log on. My UK home is on the edge of a town and the countryside, the internet there is 3 or 4 times faster than in China.
As there is no real competition for internet services in China it seems the providers do not care and do not want to invest in the infrastructure needed to improve matters.