Watch out, laowai. Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhaoqing are planning to introduce a mechanism to manage foreigners living in the three cities, Chinese state news portal China News reported on February 21.
The report said the mechanism will specifically target sanfei foreigners, or “three illegals”, referring to three groups of foreigners who illegally enter, stay or work in China. The three cities will standardize visa application procedures and jointly carry out enforcement against the groups, it added. Details of the mechanism, however, were not disclosed in the report.
The campaign to weed out sanfei foreigners is not a novelty in China. It first caught national attention in Beijing in 2012 when the capital police force announced a massive clean-up of the “three illegals” after a video surfaced showing a British man being beaten up by several Chinese for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in public in Beijing.
The campaign, however, could turn into a fiasco indulging xenophobia and nationalism that fuels more rants by CCTV Dialogue host Yang Rui.
According to Chinese law, foreigners who enter China or remain in China illegally could be detained, monitored or deported by any police bureau at or above the county level. A foreigner who illegally enters China could also face a fine between RMB1,000 ($164) and RMB10,000 ($1,640).
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