Home>Top Issues

Trump’s Immigration Curbs Fuel China Green-Card Debate

Monday,Mar 06, 2017

From: Caixin

 

(Beijing) — Recent changes to U.S. immigration policy could present China with an opportunity to attract overseas talent, but an independent immigration office is needed to make the system more appealing to foreigners, according to a private think tank that advocates globalization.

Shortly after his inauguration, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel into the U.S. for citizens from seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for 90 days.

China, as the world’s second-largest economy, could be an alternative destination for skilled immigrants, according to Wang Huiyao, head of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a non-governmental organization advising the government on global talent issues.

However, the country’s immigration policy, particularly the permanent-resident or “green card” system, is being hampered by red tape and a shortage of police resources, according to a new assessment by the CCG.

The CCG earlier this week reaffirmed a call for the Chinese government to set up a separate immigration agency independent of the Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the police force in China, in order to improve China’s green card system, which allows holders free entry into China for 10 years.

The police authority, which is already facing challenges in maintaining public order, has been criticized for lacking the level of immigration expertise seen in many developed countries such as the U.S.

The Public Security Ministry’s immigration mandate also overlaps with those of other government departments, which has led to an increase in red tape, Wang said.

China’s green card system, which has been in place since the 1960s, is one of the most tightly controlled in the world as it is largely reserved for skilled professionals who are perceived as “friendly” toward China.

Fewer than 1,600 foreigners were granted a green card last year in comparison with over 1 million foreigners in the U.S. in 2015, according to the latest figures from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The central authority has in recent years moved to open the system wider in a bid to attract top-tier talent to help bolster the slowing economy.

Among the high-profile Chinese green card holders is Nobel Prize-winning Canadian economist Robert Mundell, who was issued a card in 2005.

China needs to bring itself in line with other countries by separating its immigration unit from the police force, Wang said.

The green card system is key to attracting top international talent to come and work in China, and it makes greater sense if China can have an independent immigration office, Wang said.

Cheng Quansheng, a senior advisor to the State Council, China’s cabinet, said at a recent forum hosted by the CCG that a future immigration agency should be under the direct control of the State Council instead of being a unit affiliated with the police.

Foreign applicants might be taken aback by the requirement for them to go through the Public Security Ministry, a government agency that deals with criminal suspects and lawbreakers, he said.(By Qi Zhanning, Wang Mingting and Li Rongde)

 

From Caixin,2017-3-2

 

  • Sun Zhe: Reciprocal thinking should prevail

    Intellectual property has been a constant issue in China-US trade disputes since the 1980s, a time when the US and Japan were locked in an enduring trade war over steel, intellectual property and automobiles.

  • Trump’s immigration policy may boost China’s global talent pool

    “Trump’s Muslim ban has confirmed his attitude [toward immigrants], which has been received with great angst by the international community. The policy has caused a disturbance among immigrants in U.S., but it will be a good opportunity for China,” said Wang Huiyao, president of CCG.

  • Terrific push for trade

    Terrific push for trade From: China Daily A China Railway Express worker directs loading of cargo at Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which now has rail links to the European market. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]   Easier customs, facilitation pacts, FTAs,…

  • China and US should move forward regardless of election result

    David Lampton, director of the China Studies at Johns Hopkins University in the US, offered solutions and elaborated on why there is plenty of hope for better bilateral relations, at a Beijing-based seminar hosted by the Center for China and Globalization on Thursday.

  • Harvey Dzodin: The Singapore Summit —Where’s the beef ?

    The Singapore Summit is now history. US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un did everything, except come to any significant specific agreement.